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Press Release

The First Bilateral Consultation between the Royal Government of Bhutan and the Government of Australia took place on 23 January 2012, in Thimphu, Bhutan. The Bhutanese Delegation was led by Mr. Daw Penjo, Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Australian Delegation was led by Ambassador Peter Varghese, Ambassador of Australia to Bhutan. Australian delegation for the Consultation included H.E. Ambassador Timothy Andrew Fischer, Special Envoy of the Prime Minister of Australia to Bhutan and Officials from the Australian High Commission in New Delhi and Canberra.

During the Consultations the two sides reviewed the status of the on-going Australian assistance to Bhutan, which are mainly in the areas of Human Resource Development. Australia confirmed their commitment to continue their assistance to Bhutan in HRD and also look at expanding the scope of their assistance in other areas. Towards this, Foreign Secretary Daw Penjo, and Ambassador Peter Varghese concluded a Memorandum of Understanding on Development Cooperation, which will become the basis for future cooperation between the two countries. The Government of Australia will also be providing volunteers to Bhutan under Australian Volunteers for International Development (AVID).

The consultation was held in a most cordial and friendly environment in keeping with the spirit of long standing friendly relations between the two countries.

During the visit, the Australian delegation called on H.E. Lyonpo Yeshey Zimba, Minister for Works & Human Settlement, Lyonpo Thakur Singh Powdyel, Minister for Education, Lyonpo Thinley Gyamtsho, Chairperson of the Royal Civil Service Commission and other senior officials of the Royal Government.

Diplomatic relations between the two countries was established on 14 September 2002.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Royal government of Bhutan
23 January 2012

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