Dhaka [Bangladesh], March 26 (ANI): Bangladesh has developed strong connectivity with its neighbours particularly India, country's Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen has said and noted that neighbouring countries like Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar should join "this new south Asia where we all can have good connectivity".
In an interview with ANI, Momen said there is a need to boost connectivity through waterways.
"We have developed strong connectivity with our neighbours, particularly India. We have developed very strong connectivity by road, railways, waterways as well as air route. We have more to do in waterways because it is cost-effective," Momen said.
"I am looking forward to a new Indian subcontinent where we can help improve the connectivity of all the waterways. It would be good for India as well as Bangladesh," he said.
He also referred to energy cooperation between the two countries.
The minister said he was looking forward to a day when a passport will not be needed to travel within this region
"We want the other neighbouring countries like Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar to join in this new south Asia where we all can have good connectivity. I am looking for a day that we will not need any passport to travel within this region," he said.
He said the countries of the region should work together to foster development.
"Our Prime Minister also believes that this whole region should be developed because we cannot be an island of prosperity. We have to work together. We have major issues like climate change, poverty," Momen said.
He said Bangladesh has been undertaking humanitarian gestures and had opened borders to "persecuted people" of Myanmar.
He said the country has 1.1 million refugees from Myanmar.
"We want a world of sustainable peace and stability and a mindset of tolerance and respect for each other. Bangladesh and India should take a leadership role in this," he said.
Momen said India has been supportive of Bangladesh since its war of independence in 1971.
"India helped us all the way so we are glad that we are together in celebrating together 50th anniversary. The leader of the largest democracy in the world, he has joined us to celebrate it together," he said.
He said apart from the 50th anniversary of the war of liberation, the country is observing the 100th birth anniversary of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Shiekh Mujib Rahman.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Bangladesh on a two-day visit on Friday. This is his first visit to a foreign country since the COVID-19 outbreak last year.
In a special gesture, he was received by Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka. (ANI)