Opposition Party, Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT), supported the government’s plan on expanding foreign diplomatic relations during the Opposition’s press conference on 5th July.
The Opposition also cautioned the government to take proper measures to avoid possible threats associated with the security of the country.
It was stated in the press conference that the former government had frozen the expansion of diplomatic relations.
The Opposition Leader, Dr Pema Gyamtsho also said that the Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering announced that the government in power is planning on establishing at least one diplomatic commission or a consulate within this fiscal year.
The Opposition Leader said, “As a matter of policy and principle, we should welcome such a move and decision from the government, but the government did not discuss on the issue with us and we do not have any stand on this. On the general perspective, we support such a move made by our government to expand our bilateral relations.
This kind of decision and expansion is needed and we expect the government to keep a track on the sensitivity of it, but other than that, we agree with the decision of the government.”
DPT member from Bartsham-Shongphu Passang Dorji, said that in the 12th Five-Year Plan (FYP), the government mentioned about the establishment of relations with at least five countries. Currently, Bhutan has fifty-three diplomatic relations with other countries including one with the European Union (EU).
Passang Dorji said, “This fiscal year, the government may establish a consulate in either Australia or Malaysia,” but he asked the media to confirm the actual country.
Passang pointed out that Bhutan actually has diplomatic relations with 52 countries excluding the EU.
He also mentioned that though Bhutan does not have any foreign policy that states that Bhutan is not allowed to make any diplomatic relation with other countries, however, there is a standing foreign policy that Bhutan will not establish diplomatic relations with the Permanent Five of the United Nation’s Security Council.
“Therefore, as far as we are concerned, as a small nation the more diplomatic relations we have, the better it is for us, but we also should keep in mind the geo-political sensitivity and also the framework of the foreign policy that we been operating since the establishment of foreign relation with other neighboring countries,” he added.