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India tells Bangladesh: You are a key neighbour and valued partner

"The significance of our ties with Bangladesh lies in your centrality, for our 'Neighbourhood First' Policy and your growing relevance for our 'Act East' Policy,” External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said in Dhaka. 

S Jaishankar Bangladesh a key neighbour and valued partner-VPN
Dhaka, First Published Mar 5, 2021, 8:54 AM IST
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India sees Bangladesh as a key neighbour and a valued partner not only in South Asia but also in the broader Indo-Pacific region, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said in Dhaka.

"Every outcome and achievement in our relationship resonates through this region. It is no secret that we cite it to others as an example for emulation," Jaishankar said, who was on a day-long visit to Bangladesh.

"The significance of our ties with Bangladesh lies in your centrality, for our 'Neighbourhood First' Policy and your growing relevance for our 'Act East' Policy,” he added. 

Amid China's growing military assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific region, the leading global powers, including the US and India are stressing for a rule-based international order, underpinned by respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty.

His visit comes ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s planned tour to Bangladesh on March 26-27. It will be his first trip outside India post Covid-19 pandemic and second as Prime Minister to Bangladesh. 

On his arrival, Jaishankar met his counterpart AK Abdul Momen and discussed a range of issues, including security, trade, transport, energy, culture among others.

"We are working hard to expand our relationship in all dimensions, ranging from security, trade, transport and connectivity, culture, people to people ties, energy, joint development of our shared resources and defence. Our comfort levels are now so high that we have shown that there is no issue that we cannot discuss and resolve through amicable dialogue," he said.

The minister is also scheduled to meet Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina before he concludes his visit.

The two countries are celebrating the Mujib Barsho, 50 years of Bangladesh's Liberation and 50 years of New Delhi-Dhaka bilateral relationship.

"Our relations actually transcend even our strategic partnership, and I believe that our bonding is central to the realization of a dream of a peaceful, prosperous and progressive South Asia. It is in pursuit of this vision that both sides have made remarkable progress in our relationship, especially since Prime Minister Narendra Modi's assumption of office in May 2014,” the minister said.

Covid vaccine 

Jaishankar said that even the pandemic has provided an 'opportunity to reaffirm our friendship'. 

"Bangladesh is the largest recipient of Made in India vaccines. Also among the friendship our largest gift of vaccines of 2 million, which is really appropriate that it is to Bangladesh," he added.

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