Staff Reporter

Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi called Lyonchhen Dr Lotay Tshering yesterday evening, extending concern and support for Bhutan as countries deal with Covid-19 situation, according to Lyonchhen’s office. 

Acknowledging the gesture, Lyonchhen thanked Prime Minister Modi for the unconditional support India offered to Bhutan at all times, and more so now, when the country itself was dealing with numerous issues. 

Lyonchhen conveyed appreciation for Prime Minister Modi’s leadership and bold decisions that steered India out of circumstances that could have been worse otherwise,  

“It is because of the overriding humane and compassionate qualities in you, which makes you keep the neighbouring countries in your heart despite immense challenge of managing one of the largest countries in the world,” Lyonchhen said. 

Initiating video conference among SAARC leaders, instituting Covid-19 Emergency Fund, and other supports for neighbouring countries all aligned with Prime Minister Modi’s Neighbourhood First Policy, Lyonchhen stated on his official social media page. 

Reiterating Prime Minister Modi’s words, Lyonchhen said His Majesty is very concerned for the people and has been personally guiding in all preparatory and response efforts.

“In fact, as we speak, my King is in the districts, ensuring everything is in place,” Lyonchhen said. 

Prime Minister Modi also agreed to the reprioritisation of activities and projects supported by the Government of India. Lyonchhen said such adjustments will make it convenient for the government to align with the Covid-19 situation. 

He thanked the close cooperation Indian Embassy in Thimphu extended, as the ambassador worked closely with Bhutan round the clock. Lyonchhen said it would have been difficult without the support. 

Among others, Lyonchhen expressed gratitude for ensuring supply of goods and essentials, despite lockdown in India, as well as for medical donations.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted: “ Exchanged thoughts with the Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering on the evolving Covid-19 situation in our region.  His Majesty The King and Lyonchhen are leading Bhutan’s efforts admirably.” 

He said that India would stand by ‘our close friend and neighbour’ in fighting the effects of the pandemic.