September 27, 2021, 3:59 am

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India supports Bangladesh’s candidacy for WHO’s SEARO ED post

Dhaka: India has extended its support to Bangladesh’s candidature for the post of executive director (ED) of South-East Asia Regional Office (SEARO) of the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Newly appointed Indian High Commissioner in Dhaka Vikram Kumar Doraiswami conveyed this support when he paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her official Ganabhaban residence here this morning.

After the meeting, PM’s Deputy Press Secretary Hasan Jahid Tusher briefed reporters.

He said the Indian envoy discussed with the prime minister the difficulties being faced by Bangladeshi nationals in obtaining Indian visas due to coronavirus pandemic.

The envoy informed the premier that 90 percent Indian visas of different categories have already been opened, while the remaining ones would be given depending on the COVID-19 situation.

Vikram Kumar pointed out the ongoing process of supplying 30 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to Bangladesh through Seram Institute of India.

In this connection, he expressed his government’s desire to increase the capacity of Bangladeshi health professionals for effective delivery of the COVID vaccines.

He put emphasis on enhancing interactions at business-to-business level between the two countries for mutual benefits.

During the meeting, the prime minister once again stressed the need for regional development and cooperation.

Sheikh Hasina reiterated that Bangladesh believes in the foreign policy adopted by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman — “Friendship to all, malice to none.”

The Indian high commissioner conveyed Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s greetings to his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina and all the Bangladeshis, Tusher said.

In reply, the prime minister thanked and conveyed her regards to her Indian counterpart.

Sheikh Hasina recalled with gratitude the contribution of India to the War of Liberation and also the post-war reconstruction of the newly independent Bangladesh.

“As far as Bangladesh is concerned, all Indians are united in their voice,” she said, adding that it was exemplified during the ratification of historic Land Boundary Agreement (LBA) in Indian parliament.

Welcoming the new Indian high commissioner, the premier assured him of extending all kinds of support to discharge his duties.

The Indian envoy said that in order to establish a “Golden Bangladesh”, as dreamt by the Father of the Nation, the Indians are willing to be a part of the move.

Accordingly, Chilahati-Haldibari rail link, a pre-1965 connectivity line, would be inaugurated along with some other projects during the forthcoming virtual summit between Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on December 17 next.

Vikram Kumar expressed his country’s keenness to invest in Bangladesh’s food and agricultural sector to add value to its agricultural products.

He also briefed the prime minister about the forthcoming programmes to celebrate ‘Mujib Barsho” as well as the 50 years of independence of Bangladesh and establishment of diplomatic relations between the two neighbouring countries.

The prime minister appreciated those activities and assured of extending her government’s cooperation to this end.

PM’s Principal Secretary Dr Ahmad Kaikaus was present at the meeting. Bss.

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