Modi accepts PM's invitation to visit Dhaka
Accepting Sheikh Hasina's invitation to visit Dhaka, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has vowed to further accelerate his country's engagement with Bangladesh and strengthen the framework for bilateral ties.
In a letter to his Bangladesh counterpart, India's new leader also extended an invitation to Sheikh Hasina to visit India at her earliest convenience.
Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, now in Dhaka, handed over the letter to Bangladesh's Prime Minister yesterday.
At a press conference, Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali said the Bangladesh premier had accepted the invitation of the Indian prime minister.
The new prime minister of India expressed his "hopes for a new era of cooperation and connectivity across the South Asian region", Ali quoted Modi as saying in the letter.
The Indian premier emphasised that for India, "Bangladesh is not merely a neighbour but a nation with which we share history, culture, civilisation, and enduring links between people".
"The emotional bonds of Bangladesh's birth as an independent nation and the ideals of democracy, secularism, pluralism and rule of law also serve as a link between India and Bangladesh," Modi said in his letter.
"My government will apply itself to further accelerating our engagement and strengthening the framework of our relationship," he said.
"We should meet frequently so as to better understand each other's priorities, perspectives and concerns and thereby take our relations to greater heights in the future," he wrote.
Modi also said he "is convinced that the well-being of every nation is linked to its neighbourhood" and, therefore, he places special emphasis on India's engagement with its neighbours.
"I sincerely hope we can all work together to foster a new era of cooperation and connectivity across the South Asian region, which will ignite our collective surge to prosperity," the Indian premier said.
In the letter, Modi also thanked Hasina for her letter of felicitations on his assumption of office.