New Delhi [India], July 9 (ANI): Sudhakar Dalela, an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of the 1993 batch has been appointed as the Ambassador of India to the Royal Kingdom of Bhutan, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Saturday.
Dalela is presently serving as the Deputy Chief of Mission in the Embassy of India in Washington.
“Shri Sudhakar Dalela (IFS:1993), presently Deputy Chief of Mission in the Embassy of India, Washington, has been appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the Royal Kingdom of Bhutan,” MEA said in a statement.
He is expected to take up the assignment shortly.
Earlier, the position was held by Ruchira Kamboj, an IFS officer of the 1987 batch. She was appointed as the Ambassador of India to Bhutan in February 2019.
As per an official statement, “Ruchira Kamboj formally assumed charge of this position upon presentation of her credentials to His Majesty the Druk Gyalpo Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, King of Bhutan on 17 May 2019.”
Sudhakar Dalela previously served as Minister (Political Affairs) at the Indian Embassy in Washington D.C, and most recently as India’s Consul General in Chicago.
Ambassador Dalela has served in critical roles in New Delhi, including Director in the Prime Minister’s Office, focusing on India’s engagement with its South Asian neighbors, China, and countries in the Indo-Pacific region, Gulf, Middle East, Africa, and as Joint Secretary (North), overseeing India’s relations with Bhutan and Nepal.
Acquiring a vast experience in the trade and economic policy, Dalela served twice at the Permanent Mission of India to the WTO, including as India’s Deputy Permanent Representative.
With a bachelor’s degree in Electronic Engineering, Dalela began his diplomatic career in Tel Aviv, Israel, where he also acquired proficiency in Hebrew. He has since served in Indian Missions in Brasilia, Chicago, Geneva, Dhaka, and Washington DC.
India and Bhutan share a unique and time-tested bilateral relationship, characterized by utmost trust, goodwill and mutual understanding. Compared to other bilateral ties in India’s neighbourhood, the relationship with Bhutan is relatively trouble-free and cordial.
Diplomatic relations between the two countries were formally established in 1968 with the appointment of a resident representative of India in the Bhutanese capital of Thimphu. The India House (Embassy of India in Bhutan) was inaugurated on May 14, 1968, and Resident Representatives were exchanged in 1971.
Ambassadorial level relations began with the upgrading of residents to embassies in 1978. The basis for bilateral relations between India and Bhutan is formed by the Indo-Bhutan Treaty of 1949, which provides for, among others, “perpetual peace and friendship, free trade and commerce and equal justice to each other’s citizens.”
This relationship becomes even more important because four Indian states, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Sikkim, and West Bengal – share a 699-kilometre-long boundary with Bhutan. India is important to Bhutan in multiple ways. It is Bhutan’s largest trading partner – both as a source and a market for its goods.
As a landlocked country, most of Bhutan’s third-country exports also transit through Indian ports. Similarly, Bhutan is also important to India. Bhutan was one of the first nations to recognize the independence of India in 1947.
India considers Nepal and Bhutan as important frontiers in its Himalayan foreign policy of mutual trust and cooperation.
The bilateral ties between the two countries have matured into comprehensive cooperation over the last few years, spanning a wide variety of issues, like hydro-power, information technology, intelligence sharing, disaster risk management, education and culture. (ANI)
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