Bhutan has conferred its highest civilian award on Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Bhutanese Prime Minister Lotay Tshering confirmed on Friday
Bhutan has conferred its highest civilian award on Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Bhutanese Prime Minister Lotay Tshering confirmed on Friday. The announcement came on the day when the Himalayan kingdom has been celebrating its National Day. Tshering said Modiji extended “unconditional friendship” and “support over the years and particularly during the pandemic.”
In a Facebook post, Tshering wrote, “Overjoyed to hear His Majesty (King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck) pronounce Modiji’s name for the highest civilian decoration, Order of the Druk Gyalpo.” The award, instituted in 2008, is given to people who have made an extraordinary contribution to Bhutanese society.
Modi, who is the first foreigner to receive the award, responded in a tweet, "Thank you, Lyonchhen @PMBhutan! I am deeply touched by this warm gesture, and express my grateful thanks to His Majesty the King of Bhutan. Significantly in 2014 , Modi chose Bhutan as the first country to visit as the prime minister.
Earlier, the award has been given to ‘The Royal Grandmother’ Kesang Choeden Wangchuck in 2008 and in later years to Chief Abotts such as Ngawang Jigme Chhoedra and Thrizur Tenzin Dendup.
Bhutan's Foreign Minister Tandi Dorji will visit New Delhi to deliver the award to the Indian prime minister.
Senior Bhutanese journalist Tenzing Lamsang tweeted, "It is a recognition of Modi's 'Neighbourhood First Policy', and also underlines the key importance of Bhutan-India Ties."
In the South Asian region, Bhutan, which doesn’t have diplomatic relations with China, remains the closest political, economic and diplomatic partner of India. (SAM)