‘Terrorism divides, tourism unites’

*India planning to open a university for Himalayan studies *Modi says India wants good relations with neighbours

THIMPU, Bhutan – India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said that India is committed to good ‘neighbourly’ relations and assured Bhutan that change in the government will not alter the dynamics of Indo-Bhutan ties.


“India is committed to good relations with its neighbours,” Modi said in his address to the joint session of Bhutan's Parliament here. On second day of his two-day visit to the Himalayan country, Modi said if India progresses, it will directly impact the development of its neighbours.


“Stability and development in India will help neighbours like Bhutan,” he said in his speech in Hindi. He also lauded Bhutan for the smooth transition from monarchy to democracy in a span of seven years which showed maturity in governance in that country.


Prime Minister Modi arrived in Bhutan on Sunday on his first foreign trip after assuming office last month. Recalling India's historic ties with Bhutan, Modi said his government would work towards further strengthening relations between the two neighbours.


Noting that terrorism divides and tourism unites, he said that Bhutan has immense potential in the tourism sector. Modi said that the development of tourism does not require large investment but can yield substantial profit and even the poor can benefit from it.


Describing the Himalayas as a shared legacy of the two countries, he stressed on the need to develop the region and said India was planning to open a university for Himalayan studies. He thanked Bhutan's Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay for attending his swearing in ceremony in Delhi last month.


Modi is accompanied by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and External Affairs Secretary Sujatha Singh.

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