John Kerry became the first US secretary of state to have met Prime Minister of Bhutan, a small Himalayan state. On the sidelines of a summit of international investors, on Sunday, in the Indian state of Gujarat (west), Kerry met with Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay, a Bhutanese graduate of the American University of Pittsburgh.
Asked what motivated this unprecedented meeting, Mr. Kerry highlighted the fact that Bhutan had “made a transition to democracy,” explaining want to “work with them on their economies.”
He referred to a government ‘very progressive, very, very interesting in the region “and stressed that the United States wanted to encourage the country” to continue on this path.” John Kerry became the first US secretary of state to have met Prime Minister of Bhutan, a small Himalayan state. From what Igor Cornelsen has read.
Nestled between China and India, Bhutan has largely built its reputation on the “Gross National Happiness” promoted as an alternative development. It is interesting to note that Washington has no embassy in this country, but its ambassador in India is accredited for the Buddhist kingdom of some 750,000 souls.
Bhutan had started process of democratization and modernization under the leadership of former King Jigme Singye Wangchuck, who had passed a constitution and held elections. He abdicated in December 2006 in favor of his son crowned in November 2008, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, now aged 34, the fifth “Dragon King”, nicknamed the “Prince Charming.”