PM Modi wraps up Bangladesh visit with five pacts, flags off third train connecting two countries

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during the second day of his visit to Bangladesh, held a delegation-level meeting with his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina and signed five MoUs to further enhance bilateral ties between the two nations.

A new passenger train connecting Dhaka and New Jalpaiguri on the Indian side was also inaugurated jointly by PM Modi and Hasina via a video conference. This is the third passenger train after Maitree Express (Dhaka-Kolkata) and Bandhan Express (Khulna-Kolkata) running between the two neighbouring countries.

“India and Bangladesh signed MoUs in key sectors such as disaster management, sports and youth affairs, trade, technology and more. These will add strength to our development partnership and benefit the people of our nations, especially the youth,” Modi said.

Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said Modi and Hasina discussed the progress achieved in areas of health, trade, connectivity, energy, developmental cooperation and many more.

Modi Bangladesh visit Prime Minister Narendra Modi hands over Covid-19 vaccines made in India to his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina, in Dhaka on Saturday. (Source: Twitter/@narendramodi)

Besides, the two leaders decided to celebrate December 6, the day on which India formally recognized Bangladesh, as ‘Maitri Diwas’, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said.

“Commerce and connectivity, cooperation and water resources, security, defence, power and energy, Artificial Intelligence, environment and societal application of nuclear energy were also part of the discussion. A significant part of our third line of credit will go to civil nuclear cooperation. Transmission lines of Ruppur Nuclear Power Plant will be developed by Indian companies under the line of credit. Value of these transmission lines will be worth over $1 billion,” he added.

In a humanitarian gesture, PM Modi handed over a representational key of 109 life-saving ambulances to his counterpart Hasina. He also handed over a representational box as a symbol of India’s gift of 1.2 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to Bangladesh.

Hasina presented a gold and a silver coin released on the occasion of the birth centenary of her father and Father of Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to Modi. She also handed over a silver coin released on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Bangladesh’s Independence.

The two leaders also jointly inaugurated three new border haats along the India-Bangladesh border, laid the foundation of a monument at Bangladesh’s Ashuganj in memory of the Indian soldiers who were killed in the 1971 Liberation war and extended development work at Rabindra Bhawan Kuthibari in Shilaidaha of Bangladesh’s Kushtia.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Bangladesh Prime Minister Modi at the Bangabandhu Mausoleum Complex on Saturday. (Source: Twitter/@narendramodi)

Prime Minister Modi reiterated India’s “sincere and continued efforts” to conclude the Teesta water-sharing agreement in consultation with relevant stakeholders during his talks with Hasina. “The Indian side also requested for early finalisation of a draft for sharing of water of Feni River pending with the Bangladeshi side,” Shringla said.

Earlier in the day, Modi, after offering his prayers at a temple in Gopalganj’s Orakandi, the birthplace of Hindu mystic figure and community’s spiritual guru Harichand Thakur, said both the countries want stability, love and peace in the world as he underlined that New Delhi and Dhaka wants the world to progress through their own development.

Addressing members of the Matua community, he said, “I am feeling the same emotions as felt by the Matua community members in India after coming to Orakandi.”

PM Modi interacts with members of the Matua community on Saturday. (Source: Twitter/@narendramodi)

Modi announced that India will upgrade one middle school for girls and set up a primary school in Orakandi.

“Both nations are facing this pandemic strongly and fighting it together. India is working hard as it feels that it is its duty to ensure the ‘Made in India’ vaccines reach the citizens of Bangladesh,” Modi added.

Modi also visited the Jeshoreshwari Kali Temple in Ishwaripur and paid tributes to Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at Bangabandhu Mausoleum Complex.

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