PM Modi to visit Bangladesh on March 26-27

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New Delhi, Mar 16 (PTI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Bangladesh on March 26 and 27, his first visit to a foreign country since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) made an announcement on Tuesday on Modi's visit to the neighbouring country following an invitation from Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

'This visit is in connection with the commemoration of three epochal events -- Mujib Borsho, the birth centenary of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman; 50 years of the establishment of diplomatic ties between India and Bangladesh; and 50 years of Bangladesh's war of liberation,' it said.

Modi had last visited Bangladesh in 2015.

During his visit, the prime minister will attend the National Day programme of Bangladesh on March 26 as the guest of honour.

'The visit of the prime minister to Bangladesh will be the first visit to a foreign country since the outbreak of the Covid pandemic. This highlights the priority India attaches to Bangladesh,' the MEA said in a statement.

Modi's programme, apart from holding bilateral consultations with Hasina, also includes a call on the President of Bangladesh, Md Abdul Hamid, the MEA said.

Foreign Minister of Bangladesh A K Abdul Momen will call on Modi.

The two prime ministers held a virtual summit on December 17 last year, during which Modi said Bangladesh is a key pillar of New Delhi's 'Neighbourhood First' policy.

On her part, Hasina described India as a 'true friend' and said both countries could play a significant role in the global and regional value chains by further integrating their economies and boosting connectivity.

In a reflection of their rapidly growing ties, the two countries inked seven agreements in the summit to further broadbase cooperation in a plethora of sectors and restored a cross-border rail link snapped by the 1965 war with Pakistan. PTI MPB RC