Better security coordination along the Indo-Bhutan border, more trade between Bhutan and Indian states like Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and West Bengal, cultural exchange and a host of other issues were discussed by Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju with the top Bhutanese leadership, including Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay, during his two-day visit here that ended on Sunday.
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An important topic was the possibility of opening a road, linking strategic Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh with Assam via Eastern Bhutan.The road will enhance cultural exchange, boost trade with Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and West Bengal and improve security coordination in border areas.
During the meeting, Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay citing several concerns of his people and said that Bhutan is not yet ready for the joint security proposed by India, sources have claimed. He informed that for quite some time now China has also been pressing Bhutan to form a collaborative security presence along its border with Bhutan.
Bhutan has been cooperating with India and has helped to flush out militant groups like United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) and National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) from the Himalayan nation.
There have been several incidents in the past along the border in which Bhutanese nationals were attacked by NDFB militants. In the meeting with Bhutanese Army Chief Lt. General Batoo Tshering, the Indian Minister discussed providing security to the people living at the border areas.
In his meetings Mr Rijiju also discussed about working towards the betterment of relations in religious and spiritual areas.
The meetings with Bhutan’s Foreign Minister and Home minister were very positive.India-Bhutan friendship is unique due to our shared cultural and spiritual heritage and common political interest which has direct bearing on Northeast India. It was a fantastic visit,” Rijijusaid.
The Prime Minister of Bhutan Tshering Tobgay while praising India, has tweeted that he had enjoyed hosting Mr Rijiju and the discussions.