India-Bhutan ties model relationship between neighbours: Bhutan PM

New Delhi, Feb 16 (IANS) Bhutanese Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay on Tuesday described the relationship between India and Bhutan as a model relationship between neighbours.

He said this in a meeting with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj during the course of which the two leaders discussed bilateral relations.

Tobgay was on a transit visit to India on his way to Canada when he took the opportunity to hold the meeting with Sushma Swaraj.

“The Bhutan prime minister hailed the India-Bhutan relationship as a model relationship between neighbours,” external affairs ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup told IANS.

Tobgay also informed Sushma Swaraj that the fifth five-year plan in the Himalayan kingdom was progressing well with India’s support.

“He expressed Bhutan’s gratitude for India’s continued support for the plan,” Swarup said.

Currently, over 3,000 projects are running in Bhutan with the Indian government’s support.

“The prime minister said that the small development projects are especially doing very well,” the spokesman said.

Till now, 498 SDPs in Bhutan have been approved by the Indian government.

Tobgay also updated Sushma Swaraj on the progress in the work on three major hydroelectric projects being set up with India’s support – Mangdechhu (720 MW), Punatsangchhu I (1,200 MW) and Punatsangchhu II (1,020 MW).

According to Swarup, during the course of the meeting, the Bhutanese prime minister recalled his long association with India, including his student days in Kalimpong.

“The prime minister also invited our external affairs minister to come on a standalone visit to Bhutan,” he said.

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