Thimphu: Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar today held talks with Bhutan's top leadership on stepping up India's ties with SAARC nations besides reviewing regional cooperation and bilateral ties.
The Foreign Secretary called on Bhutanese Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay soon after arriving here on the first leg of the yatra.
“Foreign Secy's SAARC Yatra. Discussions in Thimpu on SAARC coop; BBIN (Bangladesh,Bhutan,India,Nepal) sub-regional coop;& bilateral ties,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin tweeted.
Thimphu is the first stop for Jaishankar who will travel to three other countries during his ‘SAARC Yatra'. He is scheduled to meet Bhutan King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck.
“Foreign Secy's SAARC Yatra. 1st stop Thimpu. Meetings with PM @tsheringtobgay & HM the King & HM the 4th King,” Akbaruddin said in another tweet.
Jaishankar's Bhutan trip will be followed by Bangladesh on March 2, Pakistan on March 3 and Afghanistan on March 4.
During the visit to the SAARC capitals, Jaishankar will review various initiatives for the region, including SAARC satellites and regional university, as were proposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to Nepal for SAARC Summit last year.
Jaishankar will travel to Pakistan seven months after India cancelled foreign secretary-level talks because the Pakistan High Commissioner in New Delhi held consultations with Kashmiri separatists.
The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) - an economic and geopolitical grouping of eight countries located in South Asia - includes Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka as its members.