Pays a working visit to Bern, Switzerland

At the invitation of the President of the Swiss Confederation, Alain Berset, Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay paid a working visit to Bern, Switzerland on March 8.

A press release from Bhutan embassy in Geneva, Switzerland stated that the two sides reviewed bilateral relations and discussed ideas to further expand and deepen the relationship. The two sides also exchanged views on international issues and agreed to enhance collaboration in areas of mutual interest.

Switzerland has been an important development partner for Bhutan until 2017. The visit is an opportunity for Lyonchhen to personally convey to the Swiss people the people of Bhutan’s gratitude for the assistance that was extended to their country’s socio-economic development.

Relations between Bhutan and Switzerland began from the close personal friendship between His Majesty the Third Druk Gyalpo and the Von Schulthess family in the 1950s. Formal diplomatic relations between the two countries was established on September 16, 1985.

From March 5-7, the prime minister was on an official visit to the headquarters of the European Union in Brussels.

During the visit, Lyonchhen met with President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani, Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica and the Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides. Lyonchhen also had a luncheon meeting at the European Parliament with Vice President Heidi Hautala and Members of the Parliamentary Delegation for relations with countries of South Asia.

A press release from the Bhutan embassy in Brussels states that during the meetings, the two sides expressed satisfaction with the excellent state of bilateral ties and the successful cooperation between Bhutan and the EU and discussed ways to further enhance the relationship. The EU leaders expressed admiration to Bhutan for its remarkable achievement in the socio-economic development and good governance, and assured continued EU support to Bhutan.

Lyonchhen informed the EU leaders that the purpose of his visit was to convey the sincere appreciation of the people and the Royal Government of Bhutan to the EU for their longstanding generous support to Bhutan’s socio-economic development and also for their commitment to continue the support.

The European Union has been an important development partner for Bhutan since 1982. Formal diplomatic relations between Bhutan and the European Union was established on August 9,1985.

Staff reporter