President Patil leaves for Bhutan to attend new king's coronation

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New Delhi, Nov 05 : President Pratibha Patil today left for Thimphu on a four-day visit to attend the coronation ceremony of Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk, the fifth King of Bhutan.

President Patil would be the guest of honour during the coronation ceremony, which starts from November 6.

Present King Jigme Singye Wangchuk and Bhutanese Prime Minister Jigmi Thinley would receive President Patil at Paro airbase.

The visit of President Patil at this significant moment in Bhutan's history will further strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries.

India and Bhutan strengthened their bilateral ties in 2007 by signing a revised Treaty of Friendship that gave Thimphu more freedom in running its foreign policy and military affairs.

Bhutan saw the last coronation nearly 35 years ago in 1974, when fourth King Jigme Singye Wangchuk was crowned at the age of 17.

The coronation comes barely six months after Bhutan's historic first democratic election in March this year and underlines the royal family's commitment to push Bhutan on the path of democracy while continuing with hereditary monarchy that inspires a lot of affection and respect among the Bhutanese people. By Ravi Shankar

ANI

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