Diplomacy: Reaffirming their commitments for a safe border, border management authorities from Bhutan and India met for the 10th time yesterday in Thimphu.

The delegations discussed strengthening security along the 700km border, threat perception from Indian Insurgent Groups, radical elements in the camps in eastern Nepal, and intelligence sharing between the two countries.

The Indian home secretary for border management, Anoop Kumar Srivastava led the Indian delegation while home and cultural affairs secretary Dasho (Dr) Sonam Tenzin led the Bhutanese delegation.

Anoop Kumar Shrivastava said that India is privileged to be Bhutan’s primary development partner and remains committed towards its prosperity and progress.

“The past year has been one of consolidation and intensification of our close relations,” he said. Lyonchoen Tshering Tobgay visited India twice and the President and Prime Minister of India visited Bhutan.

He said that the two countries have vital stakes in each other’s peace, stability and general wellbeing, and therefore have to further strengthen the robust collaboration including the security along the border areas.

He said that kidnappings that menaced last year were brought under control in the last six months.

“We’re also working closely in other cross border issues,” the Indian home secretary said.

Dasho Sonam Tenzin said that the two countries shared a special relationship with spirit of good neighbourliness and close friendship nurtured by the forefathers.

State and district meetings on border management also served as medium for addressing issues of mutual concerns.

He expressed gratitude for India’s unwavering support and continued assistance for Bhutan’s development.

“Bhutan will never allow its soil to be used for activities inimical to the interest of India,” he said.

Bhutan-India border management and security meeting was first held on March 2004 at New Delhi, India.

The last meeting between the two countries was held in New Delhi on June 20, 2014.

By Tshering Palden