New Delhi, Jan 21 (PTI) Describing the Indo-Bangla relationship as a "model" for neighbourhood ties, Dhaka's newly-appointed envoy to India Muhammad Imran on Tuesday vowed to enhance regional collaboration focusing on security, connectivity and economic cooperation on a win-win basis.
Imran, who succeeds late ambassador Syed Muazzem Ali whose five-year tenure as Bangladesh high commissioner to India expired last month, made the remarks while presenting his credentials to President Ram Nath Kovind here.
The Bangladeshi envoy assumes office at a delicate time with three ministerial visits from Dhaka cancelled in the wake of protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and apprehensions over the National Register for Citizens (NRC).
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday had termed the CAA and NRC as "internal matters" of India, but at the same time said the act was "not necessary".
Welcoming the new envoy, Kovind said India wants to see Bangladesh become more vibrant in social and economic development, a statement from the Bangladesh High Commission said.
India has a special relation with Bangladesh and it attaches the highest priority in making that relationship stronger, Kovind was quoted as saying.
The president said he looks forward to stronger and deeper cooperation between India and Bangladesh in all aspects, especially in security, connectivity and people-to-people contact.
"India is happy to be a partner of Bangladesh in the joint celebrations of birth centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the golden jubilee of Bangladesh's War of Liberation and 50 years of establishment of diplomatic ties," Kovind said.
Imran, in turn, said the India-Bangladesh relations have reached an exceptional level and are described as a "model" for neighbourhood relations thanks to the dynamic leadership of prime ministers Sheikh Hasina and Narendra Modi.
The envoy assured the president that he would ceaselessly endeavour to achieve his government's goal to further expand and consolidate the bilateral cooperation, the statement said.
Bangladesh remains grateful to the government and people of India for extending their all-out support to the 1971 War of Liberation, Imran said.
The Indo-Bangla cooperation had, in fact, beginning in the battlefield of 1971, he said.
He underlined Prime Minister Hasina's efforts to further promote regional and sub-regional cooperation focusing on security, mutual trust, confidence, promotion of connectivity and all-round economic cooperation on a win-win basis.
During the meeting, Kovind fondly remembered late ambassador Syed Muazzem Ali describing him as a good friend of India and a true patriot of Bangladesh.
He also conveyed his regards to his Bangladeshi counterpart Md. Abdul Hamid.
Referring to the birth centenary celebrations of Rahman, the envoy said Bangladesh looks forward to the participation of a host of Indian leaders, including Modi, in the inaugural ceremony scheduled to be held in Dhaka on March 17.
Imran, a 1986-batch officer of the Bangladesh Civil Service (BCS), takes up his India assignment after serving Bangladesh's Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates for about seven years.
Imran has also served as Bangladesh's Ambassador to Uzbekistan and worked in various capacities at Bangladesh Missions in Jeddah, Bonn, Berlin, and Ottawa as well as Deputy High Commissioner at the Bangladesh Deputy High Commission in Kolkata.
In his meeting with the president, Imran was accompanied by his wife Dr Zakia Hasnat.
Earlier in the day, the high commissioner held a meeting with officers and staff of the mission.
(Image courtesy: @rashtrapatibhvn)