New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday called Bhutan’s newly elected Prime Minister Lotay Tshering, president of Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa party, to congratulate him on his election win.

A statement from the Indian foreign ministry said Modi also welcomed the successful conduct of polls, only the third elections in the Himalayan country bordering India and China since 2008.

“Prime Minister Modi congratulated Dr. Lotay Tshering on his party’s victory in the third general election in Bhutan and his own election to the National Assembly. Prime Minister Modi welcomed the successful conduct of general elections, which is an important milestone for consolidation of democracy in Bhutan," the Indian statement said.

The centre-left Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa, which was only formed in 2013, won 30 of the 47 national assembly seats in Thursday’s vote, according to the provisional results released by Bhutan’s election commision.

News reports said Tshering, a 50-year-old urology surgeon who trained in Bangladesh and Australia, had vowed to work towards “nation-building" while tackling youth employment, rural poverty and criminal gangs while campaigning.

Modi “conveyed that India attaches the highest priority to further strengthening unique ties of friendship and cooperation with Bhutan, which is based on shared interests and values, utmost trust, goodwill and mutual understanding" it said.

“Recalling the ongoing Golden Jubilee celebrations of diplomatic relations between the two countries, Prime Minister Modi reiterated India’s steadfast commitment to work with the new government in Bhutan in its national efforts for socio-economic transformation, based on the priorities and interests of the people and the government of Bhutan. Prime Minister Modi extended an invitation to Dr. Lotay Tshering to visit India," the statement said.

Tshering thanked Modi for his greetings and accepted the invitation to visit India at the earliest opportunity, the statement said, adding the leaders “agreed to take forward the unique and multifaceted bilateral co-operation" for the benefit of the people of both countries.

India views Bhutan as a key neighbour. Last year, India and China were engaged in a tense military standoff on Bhutan’s Doklam plateau after Chinese troops moved road building and construction equipment onto the plateau. When the Chinese side brushed off objections raised by Bhutanese soldiers, Indian troops intervened leading to the face off that was resolved on 28 August.

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