Thursday, Oct 23, 2014

Narendra Modi accepts Sheikh Hasina’s invitation to Bangladesh, talks of strengthening ties

modi-m Modi said he places special emphasis on India`s engagement with its neighbours. (Source: PTI)
Dhaka | Posted: June 26, 2014 6:00 pm | Updated: June 26, 2014 6:03 pm

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has written to his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina, pledging to further strengthen the framework of ties even as he hoped that a “new era” of cooperation would be fostered across South Asia to ignite the collective surge for prosperity.

Modi, while thanking Hasina for her letter of felicitation on his assumption of office, has accepted her invitation to visit Bangladesh. He also extended an invitation to her to visit India at her earliest convenience.

He has emphasised that for India, Bangladesh is “not merely a neighbour, but a nation with which we share history, culture, civilization, and enduring links between people”.

The ideals of democracy, secularism, pluralism and rule of law also serve as a link between India and Bangladesh, he wrote.

“My Government will apply itself to further accelerating our engagement and strengthening the framework of our relationships,” said Modi in the letter which was handed over by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to Hasina in Dhaka on Thursday .

Modi, who had invited leaders of SAARC countries for his swearing-in ceremony, said he places special emphasis on India`s engagement with its neighbours.

Convinced that the well-being of every nation is linked to its neighbourhood, he said, “I sincerely hope we can all work together to foster a new era of cooperation and connectivity across the South Asian region, which will ignite our collective surge to prosperity.”

Modi had invited Hasina for his swearing-in but she could not come and instead the Bangladesh Parliament Speaker attended the event.

Earlier, Sushma Swaraj met her Bangladeshi counterpart AH Mahmood Ali at the foreign ministry. Ali later told reporters that India has agreed to simplify the visa process for Bangladeshi nationals.

“India has agreed to provide five-year multiple entry visas for under-13 and 65 plus Bangladeshis,” he said.

Swaraj arrived in Dhaka last night. It is her first stand alone overseas visit since taking office last month.

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