Bhutan King arrives in Assam for three-day visit
Guwahati: Bhutan King Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuk who arrived here on Friday for a maiden three-day visit to Assam was received and accorded grand welcome by Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, his cabinet colleagues and senior officials of the state government at the Lokpriya Gopinath International Airport.
The king was offered Assam's traditional 'Gamocha', and greeted by the chief minister and his cabinet colleagues.
The chief minister said that the visit of ''His Majesty Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuk in Assam was eagerly anticipated''.
The king first visited Kamakhya Temple atop the Nilachal Hills in the city and there after he met the Bhutanese diaspora in Guwahati.
Amid concerns of Bhutan's growing ties with China, the visit of the Bhutan King has been seen as a reassurance to India, and will facilitate an opportunity for both countries to review bilateral cooperation. Bhutan has assured India that it will consider New Delhi's interests in any border agreement with China. Bhutan's Prime Minister Lotay Tshering has previously stated that the border dispute with China is close to resolution, while China hopes for diplomatic ties with Bhutan once the issue is resolved.
The 43-year-old king of the neighbouring Himalayan country will leave for New Delhi on Sunday where he is expected to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and other senior officials of the Govt of India
Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma will also call upon the king in the evening. A cultural programme and a dinner will be hosted in his honour by Assam Governor Gulab Chand Kataria.
The king and his entourage will leave for the Kaziranga National Park, famed for its one-horned rhino, on Saturday.
As a gesture of goodwill, the Assam cabinet had on Wednesday approved the reservation of five MBBS seats for the Royal Government of Bhutan– two in the Nalbari Medical College Hospital and two in the Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed Medical College and Hospital.
India and Bhutan share a 649-km-long border, of which a 267-km boundary is with Assam.