Speech for Mijey Lyonchhen at the Dinner hosted in honour of H.E. Mr. Abdul Hamid, President of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh

Your Excellency Mr. Abdul Hamid,

First Lady Rashida Khanam,

Members of the delegation, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good Evening!

On behalf of the Royal Government of Bhutan and my own behalf, it gives me immense pleasure to welcome Your Excellency and the distinguished members of your delegation to Bhutan.

Your Excellency’s visit, the first ever visit to Bhutan by the President of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, is a clear reflection of the warm and close neighborly relation that exists between Bhutan and Bangladesh. It is also indicative of Your Excellency’s personal commitment towards further strengthening the close ties of friendship that exists between our two countries.

Relations between Bhutan and Bangladesh date back to the emergence of Bangladesh in 1971, when Bhutan had the honour of being a part of the birth of independent Bangladesh.

Since then, Bhutan and Bangladesh have enjoyed warm and friendly relations. Our relations, which is based on mutual friendship, goodwill and understanding has, over the years, strengthened and advanced to the mutual benefit of both our countries.

Today, Bangladesh is an important trading partner for Bhutan. Bangladesh has become a popular source for affordable yet high quality products. And Bangladeshi universities have become a preferred destination for Bhutanese students pursuing higher studies.

Similarly, Bhutan has seen a substantial increase in the numbers of tourists from Bangladesh, and cultural exchanges and other forms of interaction have been steadily increasing. It is indeed a matter of deep satisfaction that both our peoples and the leadership are devoted to the enhancement of our relations. We hope that this trend will continue.

We deeply appreciate the tremendous goodwill and understanding shown by the Government of Bangladesh towards Bhutan and hope that the close relations will be further strengthened in the years ahead. Such goodwill has brought our countries and peoples closer. But we must do more to promote greater understanding, deepen existing cooperation and explore new opportunities, so that our peoples are assured greater prosperity and happiness. And towards this end, we are confident of Your Excellency’s good will and support.

Your Excellency,

We were deeply shocked and concerned to learn about the terrorist attack in Dhaka on Friday. We offer our sincere condolences to Your Excellency and through Your Excellency to the people of Bangladesh in this hour of grief. Our sincere prayers and sympathies go out to the bereaved families of the victims.

The manner in which the situation was brought under control by the Bangladesh authorities is highly commendable, and we applaud the Bangladesh leadership and the security forces in this regard. Bhutan strongly condemns terrorism in all its forms and we are confident that the perpetrators of this senseless violence will be brought to justice soon.

Finally, I take this opportunity to offer our sincere prayers for Your Excellency’s personal well-being and happiness, for the peace and prosperity of Bangladesh and for the everlasting friendship between the peoples of our two countries.

Tashi Delek!

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