Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that Bangladesh continues to be one of the significant pillars of India's 'Neighbourhood First' policy. Speaking at a virtual summit with Bangladesh prime minister Sheikh Hasina, Modi said that his government concentrated on keeping strong relations with Bangladesh since his government came into power.
"Bangladesh is a significant pillar of our 'Neighbourhood First' policy. To strengthen relations with Bangladesh has been a priority for me since the first day," said PM Modi.
"The cooperation between India and Bangladesh has been good notwithstanding the coronavirus pandemic," he added.
On her part, Hasina said that she is happy to meet him again, "particularly on this month of victory".
"December evokes in all Bangladeshis the spirit of joy, freedom and celebration as we recall with deep gratitude our 'Father of the Nation' Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Under whose dynamic leadership we earned our great independence," she said.
"India is our true friend," the Bangladesh Prime Minister added.
The summit is being held a day after India celebrated its 50th anniversary of the nation's victory over Pakistan in the 1971 India-Pakistan War, also known as Bangladesh Liberation War.
"I pay deep homage to the three million martyrs who laid down their lives. I pay tribute to the members of the Indian armed forces martyred in the war and to their families. I pay my gratitude to the government and the people of India who extended their whole hearted support for the cause of our nation," said Hasina.
The two leaders also inaugurated the Chilahati-Haldibari rail link between India and Bangladesh which has been inoperative for almost 55 years.
Modi and Hasina jointly inaugurated a digital exhibition on Mujibur Rahman and Mahatma Gandhi in an effort to celebrate the life and legacies of the iconic leaders.
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