India on Wednesday lauded Bhutan for standing by it during its recent military face-off with China at the Doklam Plateau in the western region of the Himalayan Kingdom.
"The security concerns of India and Bhutan are indivisible and mutual," President Ram Nath Kovind said, while hosting Bhutanese King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Wednesday.
His comment was apparently a tacit message to Beijing about the rationale behind India's decision to send soldiers to Doklam Plateau to stop the Chinese People's Liberation Army from disturbing the status quo along the disputed China-Bhutan border, as well as its readiness to do so again in case the security of the neighbouring country came under attack again.
The President conveyed to the Bhutanese King the deep appreciation of New Delhi for his "personal involvement and guidance" and the "support provided by Bhutan" to India in addressing the "recent situation" in Doklam.
A press release issued by the Rashtrapati Bhavan also quoted the President telling the Bhutanese King that the manner in which both India and Bhutan had "stood together to address the situation" in Doklam was "a clear testimony to our friendship".
The King, his wife Queen Jetsun Pema and the royal couple's one-and-a-half-year-old son, Prince Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck, are currently on a visit to New Delhi. This the first visit by the King of Bhutan to New Delhi after the face-off between the Indian Army and Chinese People's Liberation Army in Doklam.
Kovind told the Bhutanese King on Wednesday that New Delhi and Thimphu shared "exemplary bilateral relations".
New Delhi made public the comments made by President during his meeting with Bhutanese King, ostensibly to send a message to Beijing, which has in the past couple of years stepped up its efforts to spread its geo-political influence over the Himalayan Kingdom.
During the face-off in Doklam from June 18 to August 28, Beijing repeatedly criticised New Delhi for protesting on behalf of Thimphu against the Chinese PLA's move to build a road and disturb the status quo along the disputed China-Bhutan border.