In a statement issued prior to his departure, Modi said: "Bound by common interests and shared prosperity, India and Bhutan enjoy a unique and special relationship, which has been forged by ties of geography, history and culture. Therefore, Bhutan as the destination for my first visit abroad as Prime Minister is a natural choice. Relations with Bhutan will be a key foreign policy priority of my government."
Has Modi chosen Bhutan as the 1st destination abroad to send a message to China?
Modi said he would hold talks with the Bhutanese monarch and the prime minister on various issues of the two countries' bilateral relations.
The prime minister lauded Bhutan's peaceful transition to a democratic constitutional monarchy and praised the monarchy for the "wise vision". Modi said he would also address the joint session of the Bhutanese parliament.
Modi said during his visit, he would take up the Indo-Bhutan development cooperation programme and also inaugurate the building of the Supreme Court of Bhutan, which is one of India's assistance projects to the Himalayan nation. The Indian prime minister would also lay the foundation stone of the 600 MW Kholongchu Hydropower Project.He also stressed people-to-people contact between the two nations and said the role of education is important to bring the youths of the two nations closer.
According to analysts, the decision to choose Bhutan as the new prime minister's first destination abroad is to consolidate India's age-old friendship with Thimpu, particularly in the face of China's growing overtures at the land-locked nation.