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India & Bhutan to expand cross-border linkages

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THIMPHU : India and Bhutan on Monday decided to further deepen cross-border linkages through expansion of bilateral cooperation on trade, technology, cross-border connectivity, mutual investments, education and people-to-people connections.

These decisions were agreed upon during a meeting between PM Shri Narendra Modi and Bhutanese King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck here on Monday night.

The two leaders positively assessed expanding partnership between the two countries, including in new areas of connectivity in its broadest form, cross-border trade infrastructure , trade and mutual investments, energy, health, education, skill development, space technology, and environment conservation, and close people-to-people contacts.

It was decided to undertake the Final Location Survey (FLS), in consultation with the Bhutanese side, of the proposed cross-border rail link connecting Kokrajhar in Assam to Gelephu in Bhutan through Indian support, according to a joint statement issued after the talks. The two sides noted successful completion of the Preliminary Engineering-cum-Traffic (PET) survey of the rail-link by Indian Railways. The two sides also agreed to consider establishing rail-link between Banarhat (West Bengal) and Samtse (Bhutan).

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