Relations: Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay condemned the July 1 terror attacks in Dhaka, Bangladesh when he called on the President of Bangladesh Abdul Rahim at the Taj Tashi hotel in Thimphu on July 2.

During the meeting, the Prime Minister said that the act was unprecedented in the history of Bangladesh and complemented the government of Bangladesh and its security forces for quick handling of the situation.

“Nowhere in the world has terror attacks been resolved this quickly and efficiently,” the Prime Minister said.

He wore a green gho to show solidarity with the people of Bangladesh.

The President shared with Prime Minister that six gunmen were killed and 13 people were rescued, amongst which three were foreigners – one Japanese and two Sri Lankan.

The President thanked the Prime Minister for showing solidarity for the terror attack in Bangladesh.

The President also shared that the relationship between Bangladesh and Bhutan dates back to 1980s. “Bhutan was the first country to recognize Bangladesh’s independence,” the president said.

On trade between the two countries, the Prime Minister said there is a need to further strengthen it, given the proximity and the current volume of trade. He also expressed Bhutan’s interest to export boulders and stones to Bangladesh, through the inter-governmental agreement.

Due to shortages of boulders and stones in Bangladesh, quite often bricks are broken into small pieces to form aggregates for construction, which the Prime Minister said is expensive and polluting the environment.

The President said that he would suggest to his government that it import boulders and stones from Bhutan.

The two sides also discussed possibilities of transporting goods through waterways.

Acknowledging the importance of connectivity, the President said that he is grateful to the National Assembly of Bhutan for passing the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) motor vehicle agreement and said that he is hopeful that the National Council will also endorse it.

The Prime Minister thanked the President for visiting Bhutan despite his busy schedule and also for bringing along his family.

The President, who is on a four-day state visit to Bhutan, visited the Buddha Dordenma statue at Kuenselphodrang, Thimphu yesterday morning.

Later in the afternoon, the delegation visited Dochula and spent about an hour there. The President was accompanied by his wife Rashida Khanam and other members of the delegation.

Lyonchoen hosted a dinner for the President at the Royal Banquet Hall in the evening. The first visit by the President is expected to further strengthen relations between the two countries.

MB Subba