Wellbeing, stability and progress of Bhutan central to India's vision for future: Mukherjee

New Delhi, Jan.26 (ANI): President Pranab Mukherjee has congratulated Bhutan's King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk on the completion of five years of democratic constitutional monarchy in Bhutan, and said the well-being, stability and progress of that country is central to India's vision for the future.

He was speaking at a banquet hosted in honour of the King of Bhutan, His Majesty Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck at Rashtrapati Bhavan on Friday.

President Mukherjee said India deeply values and attaches the highest importance to its traditional ties of close friendship with Bhutan, based on utmost sensitivity and respect for each other's vital interests and shared perspectives on strategic issues.

"Both our governments are agreed that our friendship has been constant because of the pillars of trust and understanding on which it is founded. We should ensure that these pillars remain strong and unshakable," said Mukherjee.

"The Government and the people of India consider it a privilege to contribute, sharing our modest resources, to the realization of the Bhutanese way of socio-economic development. We should endeavour to strengthen our mechanisms for mutual consultation and co-operation especially in areas of shared interest and common concern," he added.

"The Government of India remains committed to further expanding and deepening our multi-faceted, mutually beneficial partnership in accordance with the hopes and aspirations of the people of our two countries," Mukherjee said.

"As articulated by our first Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, who laid the foundation of our relationship, India's wish is that Bhutan should remain an independent country choosing its own way of life and taking the path of progress according to its will," the President concluded in his banquet speech. (ANI)

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