"India-Bhutan relations stand on its own. We have been and continue to be close to each other. There is so much we are doing together and there is such great potential for us to scale new heights in the future," Mukherjee was quoted as saying by Press Secretary to the President Venu Rajamony in an interview to Bhutanese daily Kuensel.

"We do not need any third party or third country reason to come close to each other. My visit has absolutely no connection with Bhutan-China talks," Mukherjee said.

"India-Bhutan relations stand on their own with great potential for us to scale new heights in the future," he said.     China and Bhutan held the 22nd round of boundary talks in Beijing in July to resolve issues surrounding disputed land, which also borders India's northeastern states of Sikkim and Arunanchal Pradesh.

At that time, China had made a strong pitch to improve relations with Bhutan and expressed readiness for an early and "fair" solution to their boundary dispute.

At a media briefing here after the President held talks with King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh, when asked how worried India was over Bhutan- China border talks, said, "Relations between India and Bhutan stand on their own and they are independent of any other country."

"If you have a border with a country, it is logical that you will have border talks. We also have a border with China and we also have border talks with China. Bhutan is a sovereign and independent country under the very wise leadership of its monarchy and its government. We have absolutely no doubt that Bhutan will deal with this issue in a manner that is in the best interest of both Bhutan and India," she said.

Mukherjee, who is the first Indian head of state to visit Bhutan in 26 years, noted that the country is India's friendliest neighbour and the relations between the two are "unique and special", sustained by the tradition of close consultations and frequent exchange of high-level talks.

He said in the interview that India's commitment to exemplary relations with Bhutan is an example for the rest of the world and has only deepened over the years.

"Developmental assistance and security cooperation are the bedrock of our relations and will continue as before," he said.

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