In what will be the first high level visit in more than two years since Bhutan closed its borders due to the pandemic, the Indian External Affairs Minister Dr S. Jaishankar will be making an official visit on 29 April 2022.
The visit follows an invitation extended to the MEA Minister by Foreign Minister Dr Tandi Dorji on the sidelines of the recent BIMSTEC summit.
Lyonpo Dr Tandi said that it has been more than two years since Bhutan has had a high level visit and it is high time that Bhutan start engaging with its bilateral and multilateral partners.
He said the invitation and the visit signals that Bhutan wants to engage with its partners.
The Foreign Minister said that the details of the visit and the agenda are still being worked out and are yet to be finalized.
However, some broad and expected points of discussion would be on hydropower projects and especially on the status of the P I project, trade related issues in terms of Bhutan’s exports like certain agricultural items like ginger, areca nut and potatoes which are facing issues, transport related issues like the railways line to Bhutan, the long stuck third internet gateway and others.
The MEA Minister is expected to have an audience with His Majesty The King and meet the Prime Minister apart from his Bhutanese counterpart.
The MEA Minister and his delegation will be traveling to Bhutan in a ‘bubble mode,’ which is an exception given to important or critical visitors where they don’t have to quarantine but have limited exposure.
The Foreign Minister said that having a meeting online is not the same as a face to face meeting where things can happen.
This MEA minister made his first foreign visit to Bhutan in June 2019 after being appointed as the MEA Minister. He previously served as the Foreign Secretary of the MEA and was a career diplomat.