4:42 pm - Thursday January 18, 7798

Modi writes to Sheikh Hasina; pledges to strengthen ties

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.

bd-indiaHe 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 today.

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.