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Jan 26, 2013 at 08:53am IST

India invites King of Bhutan as chief guest at Republic Day celebrations

New Delhi: Bhutan on Friday said its friendship with India is indispensable for its success in the future and reiterated that New Delhi will remain the cornerstone of its foreign policy. Speaking at the banquet hosted by President Pranab Mukherjee in the national capital, Bhutan King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck said the two countries look ahead to a long journey "whose road will be paved with geo-political and historical foundations".

"Indo-Bhutan friendship is indispensable for the future success of Bhutan," Wangchuck said in his speech. He recalled that his father had declared that India is the cornerstone of Bhutan's foreign policy. The Bhutan King will be the chief guest at India's Republic Day programme on Saturday. He described ties between the two countries as "borne on the spirit of trust, interdependence and constancy".

"India is the reservoir of the world's greatest religions; the cradle of great thinkers and leaders; the home of almost 20 per cent of humanity; the guardian of more than half a billion citizens under 20 and the fertile ground for great young talent and discovery of all flourishing under the world's largest democracy," Wangchuck said. He said Bhutan is proud to be India's neighbour and closest friend.

Bhutan King to be chief guest at Republic Day celebrations

He described the relations between India and Bhutan as "borne on the spirit of trust, interdependence and constancy".