New Delhi: India and Bhutan are natural partners and the security concerns of the two neighbouring countries are "indivisible and intertwined", President Pranab Mukherjee has said while noting that they should continue to cooperate closely in this area.
Welcoming Bhutanese Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay at Rashtrapati Bhavan yesterday, Mukherjee said India's commitment to Bhutan would continue undiluted and it stands ready to extend every cooperation.
"The security concerns of India and Bhutan are indivisible and intertwined. The Siliguri Corridor is a lifeline for both countries. The two countries should continue their close cooperation on issues of mutual security concern," he said.
Reciprocating the views, the Bhutanese premier said that relations between the two countries were a model for good neighbourliness.
"Others are envious of the mutually-beneficial relationship that the two countries share," a Rashtrapati Bhavan statement said quoting Tobgay. He said India and Bhutan will continue to work together and would remain ever mindful of mutual concerns.
Mukherjee said that 2014 has been a year of consolidation and intensification of ties between India and Bhutan.
"The Prime Ministers of both countries visited each other's country on their first visits abroad... That reflects the highest importance that India accords to Bhutan, which is a neighbour and steadfast partner," he said.
The President thanked Tobgay for the warm reception and hospitality accorded to him during his visit to Bhutan and also conveyed his appreciation to the King of Bhutan for his message of concern and good wishes when he was unwell.
The President expressed happiness that the Bhutanese Prime Minister will be carrying a sapling from the Maha Bodhi tree for planting at Punakha in Bhutan.
"It will further strengthen the historical and spiritual bonds between the two countries and promote tourism," he said.
"Bilateral relations between India and Bhutan are unique. Historical and cultural linkages as well as civilisational bonds between the two countries make them natural friends and partners. Shared strategic perceptions, trust, transparency and sensitivity to each other's concerns are the hallmarks of the relationship," he said.