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Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina calls India a true friend; Modi terms Bangladesh significant pillar of India’s Neighbourhood First policy

Bangladesh continues to be one of the significant pillars of India’s Neighbourhood First policy, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a virtual summit with his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina on Thursday. Hasina, in turn, said India is a true friend of Bangladesh.

Modi and Hasina jointly inaugurated a Bangha-Bandhu Bapu digital exhibition on Mahatama Gandhi and Bangladesh’s founder Mujibur Rahman to celebrate the life of the iconic leaders. They restored Chilahati-Haldibari rail link between India and Bangladesh which was in operation till 1965. 

The two leaders also signed a seven pact to expand cooperation in diverse areas with the IT sector in priority at the virtual summit, which was held a day after the 50th anniversary of India’s victory over Pakistan in 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War.

While thanking India for its support during the 1971 war, Hasina said India is a true friend. She paid homage to the three million martyrs who lost their lives, to the members of Indian armed forces and their families. She also extended gratitude to Indian government and its people for support for the cause of Bangladesh.

PM Modi said Bangladesh is a significant pillar of  ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy and his government remained focussed on strengthening ties with Dhaka ever since it came into power. India and Bangladesh co-operations has been good despite the challenges  of the coronavirus pandemic, he said.

Modi also felt proud to celebrate Bijoy Dibosh, a victory day of Bangladesh over anti-liberation forces. It is also a matter of pride to release a digital exhibition on iconic leaders Mahatma Gandhi and  BanghaBandhu Shaikh Muhibur Rahman, reiterated Modi adding that they will continue to inspire the youths.

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Meanwhile, PM Modi along with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh paid deep homage to the 1971 war heroes. The two leaders lit a victory torch- Swarnim Vijay Mashaal- at the National War Memorial in Delhi on Wednesday.

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