Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dr. A.K. Abdul Momen, MP, met the Chief Minister of Assam Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma today at Koinadhara State Guest House, Khanapara, yesterday.
During the meeting, Foreign Minister Momen gratefully acknowledged that Assam and India occupy a special place in his heart, as he took shelter in Assam in 1971 during the Liberation War of Bangladesh. He informed that Bangladesh is in the process of extending 200 scholarships for the family members of the war veterans from India who fought for the liberation of Bangladesh in 1971.
Dr. Momen recalled the visit of the President and Prime Minister of India to Bangladesh in 2021 to join the epochal events Bangladesh celebrated; Golden Jubilee of Independence of Bangladesh and Birth Centenary of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. On 06 December 2021, Bangladesh and India jointly celebrated the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations as “Maitri Diwas” in 18 selected capitals across the globe in addition to Dhaka and New Delhi.
Dr. Sarma stressed that Assam is keen to engage with Bangladesh for common benefit of the two peoples through promotion of trade, commerce, connectivity and cultural activities. He appreciated the recent pace of economic development in Bangladesh under the dynamic and visionary leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. He praised the success of Government of Bangladesh in dealing with Covid-19 pandemic. Dr. Sarma recalled the significant role of railway connectivity with Chattogram port city in trade during the British period. The Chief Minister informed that Assam is developing advanced medical and education institutions and can be a destination for the people of Bangladesh for medical treatment and study purposes. He noted that peace and stability are the key factors that helped the development process of Assam and thanked the Honourable Prime Minister of Bangladesh for her Government’s “zero tolerance policy” to terrorism and insurgency. In this regard, Dr. Momen stated that the development of Bangladesh and India are complementing each other and many Indians are working in Bangladesh. Bangladesh is the fourth largest remittance sending country to India.
Bangladesh Foreign Minister mentioned the traditional linkage between the people of Assam and Sylhet. He noted Bangladesh and India are enjoying the best of their relations under the able leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. He underscored that Assam could take advantage of Bangladesh’s dynamic socio-economic growth, both as a market for their products and also as a source of quality products at a competitive price. He emphasized enhancing trade and commerce between the two countries and promoting tourism. Further, he suggested that river transportation could be an effective means for amplifying the bilateral trade.
Foreign Minister of Bangladesh and Chief Minister of Assam expressed satisfaction over the existing relationship and hoped it will be stronger in next 50 years.
The meeting was held in a cordial and friendly atmosphere wherein the two leaders committed to work closely for the benefit of the peoples of both the countries. During the meeting, cretaries to the State Government.
Dr. Momen also attended a dinner hosted by the CM of Assam, External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar where a number of Ministers from the Centre and States along with Ambassadors from ASEAN countries were present.
Dr. Momen arrived in Guwahati yesterday to attend the 3rd edition of Natural Allies in Development and Interdependence (NADI) to be held from 28-29 May 2022. He is expected to deliver a special address in the inaugural session of the NADI today, 28 May. During his visit to Guwahati, he is also expected to call on the Governor of Assam and hold an interaction session members of the business community.