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Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Sheikh Hasina deepen cooperation

India and Bangladesh on Tuesday signed seven memoranda of understanding and launched cross-border power and connectivity initiatives following Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s summit meeting with the visiting Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina.

The MoUs are related to water sharing, railways, space, science and judiciary. India is also part of a civilian nuclear power plant being built by Russians in Bangladesh.

Describing Bangladesh as India’s biggest trade and development partner in the region, Modi said India and Bangladesh have decided to extend cooperation in various sectors, including information technology, space and nuclear energy, which are of interest to the younger generation of both the countries.

Modi added: “Across Asia, India is the biggest market for exports from Bangladesh. To expedite this progress, we will soon initiate discussions on a bilateral comprehensive economic partnership agreement.”

“India-Bangladesh relationship will achieve new heights in the coming time. There is a continuous improvement in the people-to-people cooperation,” Modi said.

Both nations also signed key documents on water sharing. “54 rivers flow through the India-Bangladesh border and are linked to people’s livelihood. Today, we have signed an important agreement regarding water sharing of Kushiyara river,” said Modi, adding, “We have extended our cooperation on flood mitigation. We have been sharing real-time data on flood with Bangladesh and have also discussed terrorism. It’s imperative that we together face the forces that are adversarial to us.”

On her part, Hasina congratulated India on the “successful completion of the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav”.

“I appreciate Modiji’s visionary leadership that continues to provide momentum to our bilateral relations. India is the most important and closest neighbour of Bangladesh. India-Bangladesh bilateral relations are known to be a role model for neighborhood diplomacy,” Hasina said, adding, “Today PM Modi and I have just concluded another round of fruitful discussion, the outcome of which will bring benefits to the people of both countries. We had the meeting in a spirit of close friendship and cooperation.”

Hasina also gifted a book to Modi containing the translation of the historic speech of Bangladesh’s founding father Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

Later, foreign secretary Vinay Kwatra said: “PM Narendra Modi and Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina had an extensive discussion on an entire range of bilateral issues. Both leaders underscored the importance of continuing our close security cooperation in the fields of counterterrorism, border management and cross-border crimes, and agreed to further enhance our development partnership including upgradation of railway infra projects in Bangladesh.”

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