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India, Bhutan can contribute to outcomes in SAARC: Pranab Mukherjee

Pranab Mukherjee visit in Bhutan

Thimphu, Nov 8 (PTI) Describing India’s ties with Bhutan as “exemplary” that take care of each other’s concerns and vital interests, President Pranab Mukherjee today said the two countries can jointly contribute to constructive talks and far reaching outcomes at the upcoming SAARC Summit.

Addressing a convention, where he also launched a number of India-sponsored programmes in Bhutan, Mukherjee called upon both nations to earnestly take up their role within SAARC for advancement of the region and for global peace, security and development.

“I would like to suggest that India and Bhutan must take up, with all earnestness their role within SAARC to move our regional cooperation towards positive and productive programmes for the advancement of the region and global peace, security and development,” Mukherjee said on the last day of his two-day Bhutan visit, the first by an Indian head of state to the country in last 26 years

“The forthcoming SAARC Summit in Kathmandu will be a crucial meeting in which Bhutan and India can work together to contribute to constructive deliberations and far reaching outcomes,” he said addressing an elite gathering at the Convention Centre here.

Bhutanese Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay, along with his Cabinet colleagues, was present during the function where President Mukherjee unveiled a School Reforms project, a 546-km double-laning road project and a Central school developed through India’s assistance.

Three agreements between IIM Ahmedabad and the Royal Civil Service Commission of Bhutan and one between the Royal University of Bhutan and India’s National Innovation Foundation were signed in the presence of President Mukherjee and the Bhutanese Prime Minister.

An agreement was also signed between the English and Foreign Languages University of Hyderabad and the Royal University of Bhutan.

Delivering an address on the ‘India-Bhutan relations’, the President said, “I would today sum it up as an exemplary bilateral relationship between two neighbouring countries, a unique and successful partnership for mutual benefit, and a symbiotic friendship between two peoples bound by age-old historical and cultural linkages.”

“Our close bilateral relations are based on our many shared perceptions and priorities. There is a deep confidence and trust between our Governments and people and we have ensured that we remain sensitive, as closely cooperating neighbours, to each other’s concerns and vital interests,” he said.

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