POLICY TIMES DHAKA BUREAU – :Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today stressed the need for more better cooperation with the neighbouring countries for the development of the people of the region.
“Our foreign policy is ‘friendship to all and malice to none’. We always think that more better cooperation with the neighbouring countries is firstly needed for the development of the people of the region,” she said when outgoing Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh, Riva Ganguly Das called on her at her official Ganabhaban residence this morning. Sheikh Hasina also said the neighbouring countries can use Bangladesh’s Chattogram, Sylhet and Syedpur Airports for their convenience. After the meeting, PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed reporters. He said the prime minister and the high commissioner discussed issues related to bilateral interests.
The COVID-19 situation and the protracted Rohingya crisis also came up for discussion, the press secretary informed. In this connection, Riva Ganguly said the two countries are working together to combat the deadly COVID-19. She appreciated the steps Bangladesh has taken under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to contain the pandemic.
The Indian envoy also lauded Bangladesh’s economic development under the leadership of the prime minister amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Sheikh Hasina said the people of all classes and professions are working together during this crisis.
The prime minister mentioned that massive programmes had been taken on the occasion of the ‘Mujib Borsho’. “But we could not celebrate many programmes due to coronavirus outbreak,” she said. She said alongside the government’s regular tree plantation campaign, her party has taken a special programme to plant one crore trees across the country during the Mujib Borsho.
The high commissioner handed over a letter of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Sheikh Hasina in which he (Modi) greeted the Bangladesh premier on the occasion of her 74th birthday. The high commissioner too wished the prime minister on the occasion of her birthday. The prime minister thanked Modi and Riva Ganguly for greeting her, the press secretary said. Sheikh Hasina recalled India’s contributions to Bangladesh’s Liberation War in 1971. She said the people of India and its all political parties extended overwhelming support to Bangladesh’s Liberation War, and in the same way they supported the historic land boundary agreement with Bangladesh.
The Indian envoy informed the prime minister that the foreign ministers of the two countries are likely to hold talks virtually on Tuesday. PM’s Principal Secretary Dr Ahmad Kaikaus and Indian Deputy High Commissioner in Dhaka Bishwadip Dey were present on the occasion.