The prime ministers of both countries visited each other's countries on their first visits abroad. This reflects the highest importance that India accords to Bhutan, which is a neighbour and steadfast partner, he said.

The president thanked the Bhutanese prime minister for the warmth of the reception and hospitality accorded to him during his visit to Bhutan.

He said India's commitment to Bhutan will "continue undiluted and the Indian government stands ready to extend every cooperation".

"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," Mukherjee said.

"Shared strategic perceptions, trust, transparency and sensitivity to each other's concerns are the hallmarks of the relationship," he added. The president said the security concerns of India and Bhutan were indivisible and intertwined.

"The Siliguri Corridor is a lifeline for both the countries. The two countries should continue their close cooperation on issues of mutual security concern."

The Bhutanese prime minister said Mukherjee's visit to Bhutan left behind a lasting impression in the minds of the people of Bhutan."It strengthened an already strong relationship. India and Bhutan will continue to work together, ever mindful of each other's concerns.

"The relations between the two countries are exemplary and a role model of good neighbourliness. Others are envious of the mutually beneficial relationship that the two countries share, Tobgay said.


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