Diplomacy: India’s new ambassador to Bhutan, Jaideep Sarkar, presented his credentials to His Majesty The King, yesterday.
Ambassador Jaideep Sarkar is India’s 17th ambassador to Bhutan.
He and his wife arrived in the country on February 1.
“Both my wife and I were honoured to have an audience with His Majesty,” ambassador Jaideep Sarkar said. “He received us with great courtesy and warmth and emphasized the importance of India-Bhutan friendship and partnership.”
The ambassador and his wife were escorted to the Throne Room of Tashichhodzong with a chipdrel ceremony.
“The ceremony in which I presented credentials to His Majesty was a very elegant and colourful one,” the ambassador said. “I understood the importance in Bhutanese culture of tradition and of starting a journey on an auspicious note,” he added.
Later in the day, the ambassador also called on Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay and Foreign Minister Damcho Dorji.
The ambassador said that he conveyed the greetings and good wishes of the Indian leadership. “All sections of the Indian polity are committed to the special and unique relationship between our two countries,” he said. “I conveyed to the leaders the importance the Government of India attaches to our bilateral relationship and to working together to widen and deepen them even further,” he added. “As you know, there are a number of areas and projects in our bilateral cooperation and we agreed to give even greater momentum in their implementation.”
According to a government press release, Lyonchoen Tshering Tobgay and the ambassador agreed that both countries share a deep relationship that is not confined by political boundaries but nurtured and strengthened over the decades by the people of the Bhutan and India.
Lyonchoen and ambassador Sarkar also discussed promoting and exploring different pathways of cooperation to accommodate newer areas of mutual economic interests. Appreciation was also expressed for India’s assistance in bringing about socio-economic developments in the country.
Lyonchoen also said that the friendship between Bhutan and India, instituted by the respective leaders has grown stronger since the inception of the first Five Year Plan.
Prior to his posting to Bhutan, ambassador Sarkar has been serving as the Indian ambassador to Israel since 2012. The ambassador and his wife arrived in Bhutan from the warmer Middle Eastern country during a particularly cold spell being experienced here.
“Though the weather is cold, I was overwhelmed by the warmth of the welcome I received and the friendliness of the people of Bhutan towards me personally and to my country,” ambassador Sarkar said. “The environment is beautifully preserved and the natural beauty of the country made an impression on both me and my wife,” he added.
Ambassador Sarkar was born in 1963 in western India, near Mumbai.
He joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1987 soon after completing a Bachelors in Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology and a Masters in Business Administration from the Indian Institute of Management.
Ambassador Sarkar has served in the Indian missions in Japan, South Korea, and Bangladesh, holding both political and economic portfolios.
While serving in Japan, ambassador Sarkar met his wife, Minako, who is Japanese. The couple have two children, aged 21 and 18, according to an Israeli media report.
He has also served as the external affairs director where his work involved managing India’s relations with Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Myanmar.
Between 1992-1996, Ambassador Sarkar worked for the Indian finance ministry dealing with EU member states.
In 2004, he joined the Prime Minister’s Office as a director, and in 2006, he was selected to serve as the Private Secretary to the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, which was followed by his posting to Israel in 2012.
Ambassador Sarkar replaces Gautam Bambawale, who is now India’s High Commissioner to Pakistan.
Gyalsten K Dorji