NEW DELHI, Sep 18: The greetings for his 70th birthday on Thursday were used by the prime minister Narendra Modi for furthering the bilateral ties between India and other countries. Among the foreign heads of states to call him up were the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, the president and the prime minister of Sri Lanka and the King of Bhutan and his family members, according to the PMO sources on Friday.
Modi while appreciating the gesture in wishing him on his birthday thanked Putin for the successful Russian Chairmanship of the SCO and BRICS this year. Both leaders reiterated their strong commitment to further strengthen the ‘Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership’ between India and Russia, and expressed appreciation for the continued momentum in bilateral interactions despite the COVID-19 pandemic. In this context, they referred to the recent productive visits to Moscow by the Indian defence and foreign ministers.
Prime Minister also conveyed to Putin his eagerness to participate in the next SCO and BRICS Summit later this year, as well as the Council of SCO Heads of Government to be hosted by India. He thanked the Russian President for his personal commitment in strengthening bilateral relations with India, and said he looked forward to welcoming him in India for the next bilateral summit at a mutually convenient date.
On receiving calls from the President of Sri Lanka, Gotabaya Rajapaksa and the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapaksa Modi conveyed that he looked forward to working with them to further expand cooperation between the two countries in line with India’s Neighbourhood First policy.
Both Sri Lankan leaders expressed their strong desire and commitment to further strengthen the relationship between the neighbouring countries. They expressed appreciation for the continued bilateral cooperation including in the joint fight against COVID pandemic.
Modi also spoke to Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, King of Bhutan, and conveyed his regards to The King, the former King of Bhutan, and all members of the Royal Family of Bhutan.
The leaders spoke about the unique ties of trust and affection that bind India and Bhutan as neighbours and friends. Prime Minister expressed his thanks for the guiding role that the Kings of Bhutan have played in nurturing this special friendship.
Prime Minister conveyed his appreciation for the effective management of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Kingdom of Bhutan, and assured The King of India’s readiness to provide all required support to Bhutan in this context. He also conveyed his keenness to welcome the Bhutanese king and his family in India at a mutually convenient date.