Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that ever since taking office, it has been his priority to strengthen and deepen the relationship between India and Bangladesh and pointed out that the nation is a significant pillar of our ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy.

“Bangladesh is a significant pillar of our ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy. To strengthen and deepen our relations with Bangladesh has been a priority for me since the first day. It is true that because of the pandemic, this year has been challenging but in these challenging times, the relations between the two countries, have seen immense cooperation,” PM Modi said at a virtual summit with Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina.

The summit is being held a day after Vijay Diwas, marking India’s victory over Pakistan in the 1971 war that led to the creation of Bangladesh.

“It is an honour for us to celebrate Bangladesh’s victory against the anti-liberation forces with you. When Bangladesh is celebrating 50 years of Independence, I would want to pay tribute to the martyrs of both nations, who sacrificed their lives,” PM Modi added.

Prime Minister Modi also thanked the Bangladeshi Prime Minister for inviting him for a visit to the nation next year where he said that “it would be an honour” to pay tribute “to the martyrs”.

India and Bangladesh have continued to maintain regular exchanges at the highest level with Bangladesh Prime Minister paying an official visit to India in October 2019.

Prime Minister Modi had delivered a video message on the historic occasion of Mujib Borsho in March 2020. Both leaders have remained in regular touch during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bangladesh is commemorating the year 2020 as Mujib Borsho – the birth centenary of the father of the nation of Bangladesh – Sheikh Mujibur Rahman popularly known as Bangabandhu. (ANI)