Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar on Thursday congratulated Bangladesh on behalf of his country for exiting the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) status, crediting Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for the country’s “expected graduation”.
The Indian minister arrived in Dhaka by a special aircraft on Thursday morning and was welcomed by Bangladesh Foreign Minister A.K. Abdul Momen at the Bangabandhu Air Base.
Jaishankar is visiting Dhaka on the invitation of Momen, aiming to deepen the ties between the two countries.
He said the significance of his country’s ties with Bangladesh lie in the centrality for their ‘Neighbourhood First’ motto and the growing relevance of the ‘Act East’ policy.
“It is a tribute to your miraculous socio-economic progress, and the statesmanship of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina,” Jaishankar said.
“We see Bangladesh as a key neighbour and a valued partner not only in South Asia, but also in the broader Indo-Pacific region. Every outcome and achievement in our relationship resonates through the region. This is why we are working to expand our partnership in all dimensions, ranging from security, trade, transport and connectivity, culture, people to people tie, to energy, joint development of our shared resources and defence ties,” Jaishankar added.
Both the countries highlighted their shared objective with an approach of “no crime, no death” to end killing along the borders, noting that every death is regrettable.
On the water sharing issue of Teesta, Jaishankar said all know the position of India and that position has not changed Jaishankar.
Bangladesh and India also discussed ways to take forward the “rock-solid friendly relations” as the two countries are set to celebrate the 50 years of Bangladesh independence together this month.
While speaking at the state guesthouse Padma, Jaishankar said that he is delighted to visit Bangladesh after a gap of nearly one-and-a half years.
Mentioning that Indian Prime Minister’s upcoming visit in Bangladesh will be “very memorable”. Jaishankar said this is the first travel of Modi outside India since the Coronavirus pandemic as well as his second as a Prime Minister to Bangladesh.
“We know that this is a very special year, when both countries mark the ‘Mujib Barsho’, 50 years of the Liberation of Bangladesh and 50 years of our bilateral relations.”
Talking about the Covid-19 vaccine, he said the pandemic has provided an opportunity to reaffirm friendship.
Bangladesh is the largest recipient of Made in India vaccines — 2 million.
Momen said: “We discussed a wide range of ongoing bilateral issues as well as bilateral interests that we can take forward in the days ahead.
“We focused on possible ways to materialize our commitments and how to prioritize and accommodate each other’s priorities in a mutually beneficial manner. Covid-19 cooperation, connectivity, trade, water, security, border and lines of credit are some of the areas we discussed,” he said.