New Delhi: Reaching out to the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told its leadership on Sunday that India will nurture its bilateral ties with it while describing relations as “B4B - Bharat for Bhutan.”
In using this modified B4B coinage — B2B is an abbreviation for business to business — the PM, who reached Thimphu on a two-day visit on Sunday, was highlighting the importance New Delhi attaches to its ties with Bhutan.
The efforts to reach out to Bhutan are, of course, also driven by its strategic importance for India and the fact that China, with whom Bhutan has no diplomatic relations, has been trying to reach out to Thimphu.
Accorded a warm, red-carpet welcome on his first visit abroad as PM, Mr Modi called on Bhutan King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wang-chuck and met Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay. Speaking at a banquet hosted by Mr Tobgay, Mr Modi said India and Bhutan are “made for each other” considering the “glorious” traditional linkages between the two countries.
“I said a while back B for B (Bharat for Bhutan and Bhutan for Bharat), I said it just like that but later I realised that it must be a sign from God that I said this,” he said. “The colour of our passports may be different but our thinking is the same. India stands committed to Bhutan’s happiness and progress,” asserted the Prime Minister.
Greetings from Bhutan! Had an excellent first day in Bhutan. Overwhelmed by the warmth & hospitality of the people here.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) June 15, 2014
I described India-Bhutan relations as B4B; Bharat for Bhutan and Bhutan for Bharat. We stand committed to each other's progress & happiness.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) June 15, 2014
World talks GDP but in Bhutan its about National Happiness. Am sure having India as a neighbour would be 1 of the reasons for the happiness.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) June 15, 2014
I foresee a glorious chapter in history of Bhutan-India relations. We should increase co-operation not just in economy but in every sphere.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) June 15, 2014
Watch: Prime Minister Narendra Modi arriving in Bhutan...