Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today laid emphasis on regional development and cooperation, reaffirming that Bangladesh follows its policy — ‘friendship to all, malice to none’.

“I believe in regional development and cooperation,” she said when Indian High Commissioner Vikram Kumar Doraiswami met her at her official residence Gono Bhaban.

PM’s Deputy Press Secretary Hasan Jahid Tusher briefed reporters after the meeting.

Recalling India’s contributions to Bangladesh’s War of Liberation in 1971 and also post-war reconstruction of the country, she said as far as Bangladesh is concerned, all Indians are united, which was exemplified during the ratification of the Land Boundary Agreement (LBA) in Indian parliament.

At the meeting, the Indian High Commissioner conveyed the support of the Indian government to Bangladesh’s candidature for the South-East Asia Regional Office (SEARO) of WHO.

Referring to the ongoing process to deliver 30 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine through Serum Institute to Beximco, Doraiswami said they are also willing to increase the capacity of the health professionals of Bangladesh for effective delivery of the vaccine.

He proposed bringing in more Indian investment in Bangladesh’s food and agricultural sector to add value to agricultural products, promising increased foreign currency earnings.

The Indian High Commissioner spoke about enhancing interactions at business-to-business level.

To establish “Golden Bangladesh” as dreamt by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the Indians are willing to be part of Bangladesh’s development journey, said Doraiswami.

Accordingly, Chilahati-Haldibari rail link, a pre-1965 connectivity line, would be inaugurated along with some other projects during the forthcoming Virtual Summit between Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 17.

He referred to the difficulties faced by Bangladeshis in obtaining visas due to the pandemic, and observed that currently 90pc visa categories are open and the remaining ones would also be opened depending on the situation of the pandemic.

The Indian envoy briefed the PM about the forthcoming activities to commemorate “Mujib Borsho” marking the birth centenary of Bangabandhu, 50 years of independence of Bangladesh and establishment of diplomatic ties between Bangladesh and India.

He also mentioned that all Indians, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, have good wishes for PM Hasina and all the Bangladeshis.

PM’s Principal Secretary Dr Ahmad Kaikaus and PM’s Military Secretary Major General Naqib Ahmed Chowdhury were present.

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