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PM Modi and Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina Engage

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday held extensive talks with his visiting Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina to further shore up cooperation in diverse areas including trade and connectivity.

The Bangladesh prime minister began her two-day visit to India on Friday. It is the first incoming bilateral state visit by a foreign leader after the formation of the new government in India following the Lok Sabha elections.

“PM @narendramodi extended a warm welcome to PM Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh at Hyderabad House ahead of their bilateral discussions,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said on X.

“The two leaders have met each other ten times since 2019, making unprecedented transformations in the relationship,” he added.

In the morning, Hasina visited Rajghat and paid rich tributes to Mahatma Gandhi.

Ahead of the talks, the visiting leader was accorded a ceremonial welcome at the forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Officials said the focus of the Modi-Hasina talks would be to impart a new momentum to the bilateral ties including in areas of trade, connectivity and energy.

Hasina was among the seven top leaders from India’s neighbourhood and the Indian Ocean region who attended the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Modi and the Union Council of Ministers on June 9.

The overall strategic ties between India and Bangladesh have been on an upswing in the last few years.

Bangladesh is an important partner for India under its “Neighbourhood First” policy and the cooperation extends to areas of security, trade, commerce, energy, connectivity, science and technology, defence and maritime affairs among others.

Bangladesh is India’s largest development partner with nearly one-fourth of New Delhi’s commitment under the Line of Credit has been made to that country.

The neighbouring country is India’s biggest trade partner in South Asia and India is the second biggest trade partner of Bangladesh in Asia.

India is Bangladesh’s largest export destination in Asia, with approximately USD 2 billion of Bangladeshi exports recorded to India in 2022-23.

The two countries share 4096.7 km of border — the longest land boundary that India shares with any of its neighbours.

There is active cooperation between various agencies of both countries to cooperate on police matters, and anti-corruption activities and to combat illicit drug trafficking, fake currency, and human trafficking, among others.

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