His Majesty The King and Her Majesty the Gyaltsuen granted an audience to the Prime Minister of Thailand General Prayut Chan-o-cha and his wife Naraporn Chan-o-cha at the Tashichhodzong yesterday.
Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay and his wife Tashi Doma along with representatives from regional and international organisations in the country and diplomats, received the Prime Minister and his delegation at the Paro international airport.
Students, villagers, and business community members were seen along Paro-Thimphu highway waving flags of the two countries to welcome the visiting delegates. The Babesa-Thimphu expressway was decked with colourful flags and portraits of the two prime ministers.
General Prayut Chan-o-cha and his wife were ushered into Tashichhodzong in the traditional ceremonial procession with traditional music, dance and song.
Later His Majesty The King hosted a lunch banquet for the visiting prime minister and the Thai delegation at the Dechenchholing Palace.
The two prime ministers met at Gyalyong Tshogkhang yesterday evening.
Lyonchhen thanked General Prayut Chan-o-cha for visiting Bhutan and expressed the warm wishes of the people of Bhutan.
General Prayut Chan-o-cha said that he appreciated the invitation extended to him. He said that the two countries have been bound by friendship and mutual areas of culture and religion.
Lyonchhen congratulated the Thai prime minister and Thailand for the successful rescue missions undertaken in rescuing 12 boys and their football coach who were trapped in a flooded cave network in Thailand’s Chiang Rai province.
“This rescue effort will go down in history,” he said. “What you personally oversaw was an inspiration not just for the Thai people, but to the whole world,” Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay said.
The two prime ministers also discussed on areas of mutual cooperation like health, education and human resource development between Bhutan and Thailand.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha also inaugurated the new office of the Royal Thai Honorary Consulate-General, which is based at the Royal Textile Academy building in Chubachhu. The consulate office began its operation in November 2003.
Thailand is Bhutan’s second import supplier, accounting for US$24 million (Bt800 million) of Bhutan’s total imports worth $455 million.
Bhutan established an embassy in Bangkok in 1999, a decade after it established diplomatic relations with Thailand. Lyonpo Chenkyab Dorji was the country’s first ambassador to Thailand.
Thimphu hosted the first Bhutan-Thailand festival in June last year. The festival held food fair of traditional cuisines, silk and agro products from the two countries besides cultural performances and Thai boxing.
Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha’s delegation leaves for Thailand today.