Kovind seeks enhanced joint efforts to promote Bangladesh-India relations

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Dhaka, Dec 15: Visiting Indian President Ram Nath Kovind today expressed his eagerness to increase the existing trade and business ties with Bangladesh through joint-efforts as he paid courtesy call on his Bangladesh counterpart M Abdul Hamid at Bangabhaban here this evening.

“The communications between the two countries became closer in land, air and riverine routes . . . investors of both the sides should use the facilities for increase trade and business relations,” a Bangabhaban spokesman quoted Kovind as saying after the talks, followed by a state banquet.

According to Bangladesh president’s press secretary M Joynal Abedin, Kovind assured his counterpart of continued Indian cooperation to the ongoing business investment and different development projects in coming days.

Abedin said during the meeting, the two presidents particularly emphasized on joint ventures between the two countries.

Kovind said “it is definitely a testimony of very close bilateral relations” while both the countries were celebrating the 50-year of diplomatic relations. Indian President called Hamid as a War Hero saying that Bangladesh did a tremendous success to tackle the fatal COVID-19 outbreak and “we are also proud of it”.

Kovind said bilateral cooperation over the COVID-19 pandemic would help the two countries to work together to overcome the situation.

He praised the participation of Bangladesh contingents at the Indian National Day march-past event and subsequently the Indian contingents’ members at the Bangladesh Victory Day’s programme in Dhaka.

The Bangladesh president said bilateral relations began during Bangladesh’s 1971 Liberation War which now reached a “unique height” as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bangladesh premier Sheikh Hasina started a new chapter in diplomatic relations.

Hamid said over the past one decade, relations between the two countries were expanded in the areas of security, border demarcation, power, energy, trade and commerce, infrastructure, communication and eventually the relations between the people of the two countries have strengthened.

The Bangladesh president received his Indian counterpart at Bangabhaban with a bouquet while his wife Rashida Hamid also presented a bouquet to the Indian first lady Savita Kovind.

Later, the two heads of state held a meeting at the credential hall of Bangabhaban where Hamid said India is a very close and trusted friend of Bangladesh, recalling the overall cooperation of India in the 1971 Liberation War and thanked the government and people of the country.

Highlighting the development of Bangladesh in various sectors, Abdul Hamid said Bangladesh is a role model of the world in women empowerment. He said the issue would be further accelerated if the two countries work together to expand women’s empowerment.  In the meeting, Bangladesh Agriculture Minister Dr Abdur Razzaque and visiting Indian State Minister for Education Dr Subhas Sarkar and secretaries concerned were also present there.

After the meeting, the Indian President presentenced his Bangladesh counterpart two replicas – Russian made T-55 tanks and Mig-21 vintage aircraft used during the 1971 war as gifts.

Later, Ram Nath Kovind signed the inspection book at Bangabhaban.

On the sideline of the Presidents’ programme, Indian first lady Shrimati Savita Kovind also held courtesy meeting with President’s wife Rashida Khanam at Bangabhaban.

They enquired about their wellbeing, wishing their respective good health.

President Hamid hosted a banquet in his honour joined by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at Bangabhaban in the evening after talks with his counterpart.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, her sister Sheikh Rehana, Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chowdhury, Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain along with some cabinet members and government officials also attended the dinner.

He also enjoyed a cultural event performed by the artists of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy.