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India-Bangladesh relations a good example of friendly ties with neighbours

PRANAB MUKHREJEE

New Delhi:: President Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday said that India-Bangladesh relations is a good example of progress which is based on mutual benefit, equality and respect for sovereignty.

“India-Bangladesh relations today are the best ever since 1974. They are based on mutual benefit, equality and respect for sovereignty,” President Mukherjee said while addressing the Cavalry Memorial Lecture organized by the Cavalry Officers’ Association here.

“India and Bangladesh are not just neighbours. We are two nations bound by the threads of history, religion, culture, language and kinship. Our growing cooperation is a picture of shared prosperity amongst neighbours. India attaches the highest importance to bilateral relations with Bangladesh. We have always believed that strong, stable and prosperous neighbours are in our interest. With Bangladesh, we now need to recapture the spirit of the Liberation War of 1971 to build a new future,” the President said.

The President also said that connectivity is the catalyst for deeper engagement and emphasised on regional connectivity and cooperation between Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal.

“We have launched three bus services that will connect our citizens more easily. Connectivity by road, rail, rivers, sea, transmission lines, petroleum pipelines and digital links must increase. Regional connectivity and cooperation between Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal must also be deepened. Mutually beneficial arrangements allowing movement of goods from Bangladesh through India to Nepal and Bhutan and from mainland India through Bangladesh to India’s North-east have been worked out. These are significant steps forward which have been enabled by the close cooperation and frequent interaction of senior leaders of the two countries,” the President said.

The President further emphasised towards greater economic integration with Bangladesh.

“South Asia should become an integrated market. A seamless assembly line as well as regional value chains for global markets should be created. Indian and Bangladesh businessmen are already collaborating in fields such as readymade garments, textiles, leather and pharmaceuticals. There exists huge potential for doing same in food processing, light engineering goods, ship building and auto components,” he added.

The President also said that Indian investments in Bangladesh will help to create jobs and upgrade technology.