Thimphu [Bhutan], April 29 (ANI): Noting that the relationship with Bhutan is rooted in history and is forward-looking, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Friday that India’s development cooperation paradigm is unique prompted by economic impulse, moral principles and emotional bonds.
Speaking at handing over ceremony and e-inaugurations in Bhutan, Jaishankar said Bhutan was the natural choice to be the first country to receive the Covishield vaccines under India’s Vaccine Maitri Initiative.
“I am, as my delegation is, deeply honoured to be your first visitor as Bhutan opens up after a two year gap in the wake of the COVID pandemic. Our gathering here today is also a celebration of your success in the fight against COVID-19 these past two years. This has been a difficult journey for all of us. I think, it is a testimony to our friendship that we have displayed the kind of solidarity that we have done in these times,” he said.
Jaishankar congratulated the government and people of Bhutan for the resilience in the fight against COVID-19.
“It is a matter of great satisfaction as well that our bilateral cooperation has continued to flourish even during this difficult period. Given our long-standing ties and special bilateral partnership, Bhutan was the natural choice to be the first country to receive the Covishield vaccines under our Vaccine Maitri Initiative. Our relationship is based on a genuine concern for each other’s welfare and interests,” he said.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi has often emphasized that Bhutan being a close friend and a privileged neighbour, the friendly people of Bhutan enjoy a special place in the hearts and minds of Indians. This relationship, rooted in history and yet forward looking, always delivers!” he added.
Jaishankar said the traditional relations have grown in new sectors since the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit in 2019 in keeping with the wishes and aspirations of the Bhutanese people.
“Financial connectivity has touched new heights through the launch of the RuPay card and the BHIM app; our two countries are collaborating closely on STEM through regular placement of Bhutanese youth in our IITs,” he said.
The minister said the two countries have successfully linked up the start-up systems and have opened up new vistas of education and knowledge sharing between our two countries.
“I am also pleased to share that the INDIA BHUTAN-SAT is due to launch into space shortly. It gives me particular pleasure to join youin inauguration of three projects and dedicate these to the people of Bhutan,” he said.
The minister said it is heartening to know that these were completed within these last two years, despite the logistical challenges posed by the COVID pandemic.
“India’s development cooperation paradigm is unique, prompted as much by economic impulse as by moral principles and emotional bonds. “It is also my honour to handover the 12th consignment of medical supplies to Bhutan, as a gift from the Government and people of India to the Government and people of Bhutan. We will continue to stand resolutely by your side through a post COVID sustainable recovery which is your current focus,” he said.
The minister said he will return with a great sense of satisfaction that the bilateral partnership is as solid as it is special and always delivers results, especially in face of daunting challenges experienced in the last two years.
“Above all it responds to the wishes, aspirations and priorities of the people of Bhutan,” he said. (ANI)