PM Modi holds virtual summit with his Bangladesh counterpart
By Our Correspondent, 17/12/2020, Delhi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that Bangladesh is a major pillar in India's neighbourhood first policy and it has been a special priority for him to strengthen relations with Bangladesh. In his opening remarks at the Virtual Bilateral Summit between India and Bangladesh, Mr Modi said that this year has been challenging due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He said it is a matter of satisfaction that there has been good cooperation between India and Bangladesh whether in medicines, medical equipment or in working with health professionals.

The Prime Minister said, the relationship between the two countries has continuously moved ahead in other fields also. The Prime Minister said, both the countries have also improved connectivity and this reflects India's commitment to strengthen ties with Bangladesh. Mr Modi said, just a day after Vijay Diwas, today's meeting holds special significance for both countries. He also said that it is a matter of pride to celebrate Vijay Diwas as a mark of victory over Anti-Liberation Forces.

At the India-Bangladesh Virtual Summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina jointly inaugurated the Bangabandhu-Bapu Digital Exhibition. The Prime Minister thanked Sheikh Hasina for the opportunity to inaugurate such an auspicious exhibition.The two leaders also jointly inaugurated the Chilahati-Haldibari rail link between the two countries. A joint statement issued after the Summit said, both the countries expressed satisfaction over the current state of bilateral relations. It said, both the Prime Ministers exchanged views on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic situation in their countries. Prime Minister Narendra Modi assured that vaccines would be made available to Bangladesh as and when produced in India.

India also offered collaboration in therapeutics and partnership in vaccine production. Bangladesh appreciated India’s conducting capacity building courses for medical professionals in Bangla language. It was agreed to jointly organize several activities to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the Liberation War and the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Both sides also agreed to hold an early meeting of the Joint Boundary Conference to prepare a new set of strip maps along the stretch of Icchamati, Kalindi, Raimongol and the Hariabhanga Rivers.

The two Prime Ministers agreed to facilitate completion of border fencing at all pending sectors at the international border at the earliest. Recognizing that terrorism remains a threat to global peace and security, both sides reiterated their strong commitment to eliminating terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. Prime Minister Narendra Modi thanked Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for supporting India in its election to the United Nations Security Council. Both countries agreed to continue working together towards achieving early reforms of the UN Security Council, combating climate change, attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and protection of the rights of migrants.

India and Bangladesh signed seven MoUs and agreements after the virtual summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today.The agreements include a framework of understanding in Hydrocarbon sector, framework agreement on High Impact Community Development Project (HICDP), protocol on transborder elephant conservation, an MoU on the supply of equipment and improvement of Garbage and solid waste disposal, MoU in the field of agriculture, an MoU between National Museum Delhi and Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Memorial museum, Dhaka and terms of reference for India Bangladesh CEO forum.