Leaders of neighbouring countries should be like neighbours: Modi

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New Delhi, Sep 10 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said leaders of neighbouring countries should be like neighbours who meet and visit each other frequently without any elaborate protocols.

“I have said it earlier too that the leaders of neighbouring countries should have neighbour-like relations with each other. They should feel free to speak with one another, visit each other whenever they feel like. On this, they should not be bound by the restrictions of protocol,” Modi said while jointly inaugurating three projects in Bangladesh through video conference.

Modi said this closeness is evident in the frequent interactions between him and Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Modi, along with Sheikh Hasina, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb, jointly inaugurated three projects in Bangladesh.

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The projects include a 500 MW additional power supply from India to Bangladesh through the existing Baharampur-Bheramara interconnection, the Akhaura-Agartala rail link and the rehabilitation of the Kulaura-Shahbazpur section of Bangladesh Railways.

Speaking on the occasion, Modi appreciated Sheikh Hasina’s vision of restoring connectivity with India to the way it was before 1965. He said that in the last few years there has been steady progress towards this goal.

Today, we have increased our power connectivity and started two projects to increase our railway connectivity, he said.

Modi said that with the completion of Baharampur-Bheramara power supply project, 1.16 GW of power is now being supplied from India to Bangladesh.

“This journey from megawatts to gigawatts is symbolic of a golden era in the relations between India and Bangladesh,” Modi said.

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The Prime Minister said that Akhaura-Agartala rail connectivity will provide another link in the cross-border connectivity between the two countries.

Modi appreciated Sheikh Hasina’s development goals of transforming Bangladesh into a middle income country by 2021, and a developed country by 2041.

He said that closer relations and people-to-people links between the two countries would take development and prosperity to new heights.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali also joined the video conference from Delhi and Dhaka respectively.

–IANS

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