Sheikh Hasina stresses 'better cooperation' with neighbours as outgoing Indian envoy calls on

PTI Dhaka, Bangladesh Sep 27, 2020, 07.18 PM(IST)

File Photo. Photograph:( AFP )

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"We always think that better cooperation with the neighbouring countries is firstly needed for the development of the people of the region," Hasina's press secretary Ihsanul Karim quoted her as telling Das during the meeting at the prime minister's official residence Ganobhaban.

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said on Sunday that the neighbours in South Asia should have "better cooperation" for benefit of their own people as outgoing Indian High Commissioner in Dhaka Riva Ganguly Das made a farewell call on her.

"We always think that better cooperation with the neighbouring countries is firstly needed for the development of the people of the region," Hasina's press secretary Ihsanul Karim quoted her as telling Das during the meeting at the prime minister's official residence Ganobhaban.

"Our foreign policy is friendship to all and malice towards none," Hasina said as issues of bilateral interests came up during their discussion.

The Indian envoy handed over a letter from Prime Minister Narendra Modi to his Bangladeshi counterpart greeting on her birth anniversary and also presented a bouquet to her on his behalf.

"Please accept my warm wishes and hearty congratulations on your birthday?Your (Hasina) visionary leadership has helped Bangladesh achieve immense social and economic transformation, and equally your contributions to our bilateral relations have been extremely impressive," Modi's letter read.

During the meeting, the Indian envoy reiterated the importance of Bangladesh in the "Neighborhood First" policy of India and "recounted the progress made in the bilateral relations under the visionary leadership" of the two prime ministers, said a press release issued by the Indian mission here.

It said that the golden jubilee celebration of 1971 Liberation War and the fiftieth anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations in the next year also figured in their meeting.

The Indian envoy presented a collection of rare footage of the visit of Hasina's father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to India in 1972 to her.

She thanked Das for her contribution to strengthening India-Bangladesh relations.

Hasina said the neighbouring countries could use Bangladesh's Chattogram, Sylhet and Syedpur Airports for their convenience.

Karim said the COVID-19 situation and the Rohingya crisis also came up for discussion.

Das' call on came as officials said Bangladesh foreign minister AK Abdul Momen was set to join with his Indian counterpart Subrahmanyam Jaishankar on Tuesday through virtual platform.

Momen recently described bilateral ties with New Delhi "rock solid". 

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