After a visit to Soe, Naro and Lingshi, Prime Minister Jigmi Y Thinley met with the Ambassador of USA to India Ms. Nancy Powell at the Gyalyong Tshokhang yesterday.
The US Ambassador arrived in the Country on 21 October on a six day official visit. Ms. Nancy Powell was accompanied by a four member delegation.
Welcoming the Ambassador, Lyonchhen said that relations between the two countries have grown and blossomed in many ways, especially the collaboration with various American universities.
Lyonchhen also thanked the Ambassador for the US$ 97,786 grant to Bhutan foundation for documentation of the 19th century Wangduechholing Palace in Bumthang.
Ambassador Powell spoke of strengthening relations between the two countries, identifying regional programs to support in the area of women empowerment, and to talk to the many stakeholders in the democratic evolution in Bhutan to see specific areas where the US may be able to assist.
Lyonchhen and the Ambassador also discussed on disaster planning and management among several issues of mutual interest.
A collection of American Legal texts was presented by the delegation to the Bhutan National Legal Institute and a collection of American children’s book to the Changzamtog lower secondary School in capital.
Ambassador Powell said that small contributions would help children’s reading skill in English. The ambassador also read a children’s book to a group of students.
She said the books will give the children a taste of America and encourage them to study and also help them when they come to America.
His Majesty King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck granted an audience to Ambassador Powell.
She is the first women US Ambassador to India and holds the highest rank in the US Foreign Service with the title of career ambassador.
Ms. Powell was the ambassador to Nepal from August 2007 to August 2009. She also served as ambassador to Pakistan, Ghana, and Uganda. Earlier she was the Director General of the Foreign Service and the Director General of Human Resources.
Ambassador Powell first visited Bhutan in 1983, in the capacity of officer-in-charge of Bhutan and Nepal affairs.
After 30 years, she said there were two prominent changes in the country. One is the growth of Thimphu, but most important is the democratization of Bhutan, the creation of parliamentary assembly, council and the changes in the King’s stature to constitutional monarchy.
Ambassador Powell and the delegation will leave on 26 October.