Tue, 18 Jan 2022

Dhaka [Bangladesh], December 6 (ANI): The relationship between India and Bangladesh has remained strong and stable despite restrictions imposed due to COVID-19, said Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and added that the core of ties between the two nations needs to now concentrate on people-to-people contact, trade, business and connectivity.

"Bangladesh and India are celebrating the golden jubilee of the establishment of diplomatic relations, this is a milestone in the journey of our bilateral ties. India recognized Bangladesh as an independent and sovereign state on December 6, 1971," Hasina said at a virtual event to mark the 50th anniversary of India-Bangladesh diplomatic relations hosted by the Indian Council of World Affairs.

"Today, I fondly recall the generosity of former Indian PM Indira Gandhi and her government. They provided accommodation to 10 million refugees from Bangladesh. During the visit of PM Modi to Bangladesh in March, it was decided to recognize December 6 as Maitri Diwas," she added.

During the visit of PM Narendra Modi to Bangladesh in March 2021 to attend the national day of Bangladesh, it was decided to commemorate December 6 as Maitri Diwas (Friendship Day).

Ten days before the liberation of Bangladesh, India had recognized Bangladesh on December 6 1971. India was one of the first countries to establish bilateral diplomatic ties with Bangladesh.

The Maitri Diwas is being commemorated in 18 countries around the world apart from Bangladesh and India. These countries are Belgium, Canada, Egypt, Indonesia, Russia, Qatar, Singapore, UK, Australia, France, Japan, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Switzerland, Thailand, UAE and USA.

The prime minister noted that the India and Bangladesh "grand partnership" has further strengthened, diversified, expanded in recent years due to high-level political exchanges.

"Today our grand partnership has matured taking dynamics comprehensive and strategic shape and is based on sovereignty, equality, trust and mutual respect. The relationship between India and Bangladesh is anchored in history and culture, language and shared values of secularism and democracy," she said.

"Our bonds and friendship have been further strengthened, diversified, expanded in recent years due to high-level political exchanges. The core of the bilateral relationships now needs to concentrate on people to people contact, trade, business and connectivity which has become increasingly important for both sides. Despite the restriction imposed by COVID-19, the relationship at all levels has remained strong and stable. This was evident in our excellent cooperation and collaboration with the COVID-19 pandemic," she added. (ANI)

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