Ahead of her visit to New Delhi, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has lauded India as a “time-tested friend” and thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for helping out her country during the time of the pandemic.
Sheikh Hasina’s visit to India from September 5-8 will focus on enhancing the India-Bangladesh relations across the spectrum, including trade and investment, connectivity and joint management of water resources. Enhancing defence industry collaboration will also figure prominently during the talks.
In an interview to a video news agency, Prime Minister Hasina lavished praise on the Narendra Modi government’s gesture of providing COVID-19 vaccines to neighbouring countries under its Vaccine Maitri programme.
“I really thank Prime Minister Modi for this initiative, and that way he… you know, contributed vaccines to not only Bangladesh, also some south Asian countries, and it’s really very, very helpful. And it’s a really prudent initiative he has taken. Besides that, we bought vaccines with our own money, and also many other countries also contributed,” she told ANI.
The Bangladesh leader also praised PM Modi’s initiative for rescuing students of her country who were stuck in eastern Europe following the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
“I really would like to express my thanks to Prime Minister that during this war between Russia and Ukraine, many of our students were just stuck, and they came to Poland for shelter. But when you evacuated your students, Indian students, they also brought our students back home. So it is really… You have shown a clearly friendly gesture. I thank Prime Minister (Modi) for this initiative,” Prime Minister Hasina said.
Sheikh Hasina stressed that even during the COVID-19 period, the Indian government had shown their positive intentions as both, the then President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Bangladesh as it celebrated its Independence Day.
“I really thank Prime Minister Modi and also your honourable president. Both of them visited Bangladesh when we were celebrating our father of the nation birth centenary and also our independence, 50 years of our Independence Day, and our friendship with India. India recognised Bangladesh early on, so that bonding, I think that is our main priority. That their visit at such a time, even that time there was a COVID-19 pandemic but beside that both of them honoured us, honoured our people,” she said.
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