New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said Bangladesh is a key pillar of India’s ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy and strengthening ties between the two nations is a key priority for him. 

During a video conference with his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina, the two countries signed seven agreements to expand cooperation in diverse areas, and restored a cross-border rail link.

The inauguration of the Chilahati-Haldibari rail link is expected to enhance connectivity to Assam and West Bengal states in India from Bangladesh. It was part of the broad gauge main route from Kolkata to Siliguri till 1965.

The two leaders jointly inaugurated a Bangabandhu-Bapu digital exhibition, released a commemorative stamp on Sheikh Mujibur Rehman’s birth centenary and signed a pact to form an India-Bangladesh CEOs forum with IT sector as a priority area.

“It is a matter of pride for me that I am getting to release a digital exhibition on Mahatma Gandhi and Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rehman. They will continue to inspire our youths,” Modi said.

Meanwhile, Hasina in a statement described India as a “true friend”.

She also paid homage to the martyrs of the 1971 war. “I pay my gratitude to the govt and people of India who extended wholehearted support for the cause of our liberation,” she said. 

Both sides have scaled up trade and economic engagement besides implementing a number of connectivity and infrastructure projects.

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