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Bangladesh in All Praise for Modi for Timely Vaccine Supply

Bangladesh in All Praise for Modi for Timely Vaccine Supply

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NEW DELHI, Mar 26: Bangladesh foreign minister AK Abdul Momen was in all praise of the visiting Indian prime minister Narendra Modi on Friday appreciating his leadership in India’s efforts to provide other nations with the vaccine against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), which has wreaked havoc across the globe infecting and killing millions.

“I think India did a great job… As early as March 15, 2020, Indian PM called all SAARC leaders and came forward to help, to work together. Since Covid-19 is a global issue we have to work together in collaboration. The Indian PM took leadership, we joined in,” the Bangladesh minister told the media.

His remark comes on a day when Modi arrived in Dhaka on a two-day visit to Bangladesh, his first foreign trip since the outbreak of the pandemic a year ago. His visit was earlier scheduled in March last year but was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Thanking India and Modi for the vaccine supply, Momen said India provided two million vaccines as a gift and the prime minister “on the 50th anniversary of Bangladesh and 100th anniversary of the father of our nation, is giving another 1.2 million vaccines as a gift. They have assured that the contract will be met on time. We would like to buy more.” He added that Modi has assured his counterpart Sheikh Hasina that if India developed a vaccine, Bangladesh would get it at the same time. “He kept his word and with this, he has won the hearts and minds of people. We paid for it in advance,” the foreign minister said.

At present, there are 584,395 confirmed cases in Bangladesh and 8,797 have died of the viral disease so far.

Momen said he looked forward to a new Indian subcontinent with improved waterways connectivity. “We have developed strong connections with our neighbours, particularly India. We have developed very strong connectivity by road, railways, waterways as well as air routes. We have more to do in waterways because it is cost-effective,” he said.

The foreign minister also called for other neighbouring countries like Nepal, Bhutan, and Myanmar to come together for better connectivity between South Asian countries. “I am looking for a day that we will not need any passport to travel within this region,” he said.

(Manas Dasgupta)



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