India woos Bangladesh with defence loan, credit

As the VVIP flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines carrying Sheikh Hasina and her entourage landed at the airport, Prime Minister Narendra Modi personally welcomed his guest from the across the border with a bouquet, reflecting his commitment to India's "Neighbourhood First" policy.

These would include working in the fields of Electronics, Information Technology, Cyber Security, Space exploration, Civil Nuclear Energy, and others areas.

When Hasina visited India in 2010, $1 billion line of credit was the largest that India had ever offered - and also the largest that Bangladesh had gotten from a foreign country at that point.

"But it is sad that there is a third ideology opposed to that of our two countries also in South Asia", Modi said.

The Bangladesh Prime Minister added that she would like to name one of the roads in New Delhi after Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the founding leader of Bangladesh.

They recognised the importance of various regional/sub-regional cooperative/collaborative initiatives to improve the lives and livelihoods of all the people across the two countries.

He said an "early solution can and will be found" to the Teesta water sharing issue.

The Prime Minister's statements came in the presence of his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina during an event to honour the heroes of the 1971Indo-Pak war.

Hasina told Sonia of the steps taken by her government to combat terrorism and radicalisation of youths.

The highlight was the $4.5 billion line of credit India extended towards Bangladesh, and the promise by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to solve the Teesta water dispute.

"We in India rejoice in our ties with Bangladesh". Throughout her state visit, India signalled a clear message: India sees Bangladesh's prosperity as a cherished goal and would be a willing partner in this endeavour.

Indian envoy to Dhaka Harsh Shringla also pitched for more bilateral investments to address Bangladesh's concerns over trade imbalance.

India's doors are always open for cooperation, but for that Pakistan has to shun terrorism, PM Modi said on Saturday. "India and Bangladesh are also determined that the fruits of our cooperation must benefit our people", said Modi.

The Indian president said he was moved by Hasina visiting New Delhi and sharing his grief following the death of his wife Suvra who hailed from Narail district of Bangladesh. The strong mutually beneficial partnership between India and Bangladesh must deliver on its promise. "It can from some smaller rivers that flow into Bangladesh from West Bengal, rivers like Torsha and Mansai", she told journalists.

  • Leroy Wright