We attach great importance to the visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Bangladesh on the occasion of the golden jubilee of the independence of Bangladesh and the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation. Under PM Modi's leadership, Bangladesh-India relations have moved forward significantly, and we believe that the Indian prime minister attaches great importance to the relationship with Bangladesh, which he has made clear through many statements and also practical moves. We, on our part, would like to assure PM Modi that we also recognise the great value of our bilateral relations and will spare no effort to improve it for the mutual benefit of both sides.
During his speech at the centenary and golden jubilee celebrations at National Parade Square, Narendra Modi spoke of the fraternal relations between the two countries also reaching the 50-year mark, and praised the leadership of Bangabandhu in forging the new nation of Bangladesh, saying that it is a matter of pride to India to have been able to confer Bangabandhu with the Gandhi Peace Prize 2020. He also mentioned how the countries worked together and supported each other during the global Covid-19 pandemic, further entrenching the bonds of friendship between the two nations. We greatly appreciate these gestures and words of friendship from the Indian prime minister, and on this occasion, we recall the contribution of the Indian government and its people to the Liberation War of Bangladesh, as well as the sacrifice of their army during our birth 50 years ago. We also thank the Indian government for the great gift of Covid-19 vaccines, including the latest gift of 12 lakh doses that PM Modi has brought on his visit to Bangladesh.
We would like to reiterate that Bangladesh considers its relationship with India as one of the main pillars of our foreign policy. PM Modi, in his special op-ed in The Daily Star yesterday, speculated on what would have been the picture of South Asia if Bangabandhu were alive. While doing so, he identified many areas where our relationship can be further advanced. He then goes on to write that even though Bangabandhu is not with us, we now have an opportunity to make progress in all those directions. We, on our part, feel that there is nothing to stop us in moving in that direction, as long as it is always win-win for both sides.
We would also like to stress upon both Bangladesh and India that there is a lot to learn from our past failures, just as there is a lot to celebrate from our past successes. The lessons of the past should not be lost on either side as we build a very bright future. And here we would reiterate that no time should be wasted in removing the irritants that still plague our relations which, given the determination of both the leaders, should not take much time to overcome. Again, we thank PM Modi for this special gesture of making his first foreign trip after Covid-19 to Bangladesh, and on our part, we assure him that we will do our best to reciprocate the goodwill that he has created.