Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina

PV Desk : Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said the existing relations between Bangladesh and India have been strengthened further through her just-concluded visit to India.

“Bangladesh and India are two closest neigbouring countries and I think through this visit the existing ties between the two countries have been further consolidated,” she said in her written speech at a crowded press conference at her official Ganabhaban residence here this afternoon.

The prime minister also said Bangladesh Bhaban established at Shantiniketan will take forward further the existing cultural bond of the two countries.

The press conference was convened to brief journalists about the outcomes of her just-concluded visit to India.

Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader and Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali were present on the dais, while PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim moderated the press conference.

Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu, PM’s advisers HT Imam, Dr Moshiur Rahman and Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury and State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam were present, among others.

Sheikh Hasina said, on the first day of her two-day official visit, she along with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi joined the convocation ceremony of the Bisva Bharati University at Shantiniketan in West Bengal.

Later, she said, they jointly inaugurated the newly constructed Bangladesh Bhaban built on Bisva Bharati University campus.

The Prime Minister said primary discussion on constructing Bangladesh Bhaban began during her previous visit to Shantiniketan in 2010.

The issue of building the Bhaban financed by Bangladesh government was mentioned in the joint communique during the visit of the then Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh to Bangladesh in 2011, she said.

Later, an announcement was made in this regard during the visit of Indian President Dr Pranab Mukherjee to Bangladesh in 2013, Sheikh Hasina said.

In light of the announcement, she said, education and cultural ministries and Architecture Department of Bangladesh jointly constructed the eye-catching Bangladesh Bhaban at a cost of 25 crore Indian Rupees.

In this regard, she mentioned that a one-time corpus fund equivalent to Rs 10 crore would be formed for the maintenance of the building and for conducting its activities.

From the dividend of the fund, fellowship would be awarded to 10 students of Bangladesh for doing MPhil and PhD research at Bisva Bharati University, Sheikh Hasina said.