Diplomacy: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that it was a great honour to meet His Majesty The King, Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen and the Members of the Royal Family in Bhutan.

The Indian delegation, led by the chief minister, received an audience with the Druk Gyalpo on Tuesday.

She said that Bhutan is a beautiful country with peace-loving people. She described her visit to the country as unique. “It was a unique meeting,” she said.

She was speaking to reporters after her meeting with foreign minister Damcho Dorji yesterday. The discussion ranged from security to economic cooperation.

Discussions during the meeting touched on further strengthening cooperation and enhancing the very ties that exist between Bhutan and West Bengal.

“The discussion between Bhutan and India will continue,” she said, without giving details of the discussions with the minister. “We will work together in various sectors including education, tourism and civil aviation,” she said.

The chief minister said that the two countries will continue to hold discussions on matters that concern both the nations.

“As friends we have to discuss all the issues,” she said. “If you are ok, we are ok. If we are ok, you are ok,” she said.

Most of the issues discussed were already discussed with her meeting with Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay. “We discussed all the issues that pertain to both the countries,” she said.

In her meeting with Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay on Monday, the two leaders also held discussion on the second international gate and the customs centre at the Jaigoan-Phuentsholing international border.

The chief minister is in the country from Monday to Friday at the invitation of the Prime Minister.

According to the foreign ministry, the visit is highly significant as it is the chief minister’s first visit to Bhutan. West Bengal is one of the most important adjoining states in India with which Bhutan has strong trade, economic and cultural relations.

It is stated that the visit not only will further strengthen friendship, understanding and cooperation between Bhutan and West Bengal but also Indo-Bhutan relations.

MB Subba