New Delhi: Vice President of India, M Venkaiah Naidu, yesterday sought Bangladesh’s support in restructuring and reforming multilateral organizations such as the United Nations so that policies that affect the entire world were not decided by a few countries. Interacting with trainee-diplomats from Bangladesh at Upa-Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi, Naidu pointed out that the world was multipolar now, and it was time to restructure multilateral organizations to reflect this new global reality.
Observing that India attaches the highest importance to Bangladesh, he said, “Bangladesh is special for us. Therefore, your visit to India is also special for us.”
The VP said India always believed that a strong, stable and prosperous Bangladesh was in India’s interest and “we would like to partner in your journey of progress to become a developed country by 2041.”
Asserting that India and Bangladesh have been able to resolve some outstanding issues, including the land and maritime boundary issues, Naidu said, “Today India-Bangladesh bilateral relations are considered a role model of good neighbourly relations.”
He observed that India and Bangladesh have the potential to steer the Bay of Bengal region to great prosperity. “We need to play an active role in BIMSTEC to fully utilize the opportunities existing in this sub-region,” he added.
Stating that India was a committed development partner of Bangladesh and has extended cumulative Lines of Credit of over $8 billion to the nation in the last 7 years for various infrastructure projects, Naidu stressed that this was the largest amount of credit India has ever committed to any single country.
As regards Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), Naidu said that the Indian Government at the highest level had clarified that it was meant to give citizenship to religiously persecuted refugees and not to take away the citizenship of any Indian. “It does not affect the citizenship of Indian citizens of any religion,” he added.
Naidu told the delegation that India was fully aware of the heavy burden on Bangladesh as a result of the influx of lakhs of displaced persons from the Rakhine State of Myanmar, and that it appreciates Bangladesh for its humanitarian gesture towards these displaced persons. He said that Bangladesh could count on India’s full support towards their bilateral efforts with Myanmar in the repatriation of displaced Rohingyas back to Myanmar.
Naidu emphasized that India wants peace and stability in the neighbourhood and friendly relations with all its neighbours. He said that Kashmir was a settled issue and deplored the attempts by a neighbouring country (presumed to be Pakistan) to aid, abet, fund and train terror outfits to promote cross border terrorism.
Giving an overview of India’s growth story, Naidu said that systematic reforms undertaken by successive governments have made Indian economy strong and resilient, adding that there was rising confidence and optimism about India all around the world.
Ambassador Syed Mausad Mahmood Khundoker, Rector, Foreign Service Academy, Dhaka & Director General, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dhaka; Director General of Foreign Service Academy, Dhaka, Toufiq Islam Shatil; and more than 20 Trainee Diplomats were in attendance and interacted with Vice President Naidu.
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