Indian President Ram Nath Kovind on way to Dhaka

Indian president Ram Nath Kovind before boarding the plane on his way to Dhaka from New Delhi on 15 December 2021Twitter

Indian president Ram Nath Kovind left India for Bangladesh on Wednesday morning on a three-day state visit as a “unique example” of the existing good relations between the two neighbouring countries.

President Ram Nath Kovind will arrive in Dhaka “to participate in the special celebrations of Mujib Shato Borsho and the 50th anniversary of Bangladesh’s Liberation” said a tweet posted by Twitter handle President of India earlier in the day.

“This is the first state visit of the President since the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic,” the tweet added.

At the invitation of his Bangladesh counterpart Abdul Hamid, the Indian president will arrive in Dhaka to attend the 50th Victory Day celebrations of Bangladesh, the closing ceremony of the birth centenary of Bangladesh’s founding father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and 50 years of Bangladesh-India diplomatic relations.

President Hamid will welcome his Indian counterpart at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport.

President Kovind will be given a guard of honour at the airport. He will then pay homage to the martyrs of the great Liberation War at the National Mausoleum in Savar.

On the same day, he will visit Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi 32 and pay homage to the memory of the Bangladesh’s founding father.

The Indian side said the visit on the historic occasion is a reflection of the high priority that both countries attach to the bilateral relationship.

“It also reaffirms the shared desire of both countries to further consolidate and strengthen the multifaceted and irreversible partnership, based on historical and cultural ties, mutual trust and understanding,” said the Indian ministry of external affairs.

The Indian president will hold a delegation-level meeting with president Hamid on Wednesday. After that, he will attend a banquet to be hosted by president Hamid.

Prime minister Sheikh Hasina will also have a meeting with the Indian president on the same day. Foreign minister AK Abdul Momen will also call on him.

On the third day of his visit on Friday, the president of India will inaugurate and inspect the newly renovated section of the “Kali Mondir” at Ramna.

He expressed interest in exchanging views with the members of the relevant committee of the temple.

The Indian president will leave Dhaka for Delhi on Friday noon.

Earlier, Indian prime minister Narendra Modi had paid a state visit to Bangladesh from 26 to 27 March, 2021 to join the celebrations of the golden jubilee of the independence of Bangladesh, the birth centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and 50 years of establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Bangladesh.

Momen said such a high-level visit between Bangladesh and India in 2021 will be mentioned in gold letters as a milestone chapter in the existing relations between the two countries.

Meanwhile, India’s foreign secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla on Tuesday said, “Bangladesh is a central pillar of our Neighbourhood First policy. It is also the relationship where this policy intersects the element of our Act East policy. India today, is Bangladesh’s most important economic partner and Bangladesh is India’s largest trade partner in South Asia. India is the second-largest trade partner of Bangladesh.”

He was speaking at a special ministry of external affairs briefing.

Recalling prime minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Bangladesh earlier this year, foreign secretary said that “It is the only country that is visited by PM Modi, president Ram Nath Kovind and foreign minister S Jaishakar.

“In March, our prime minister paid a State visit to Bangladesh to join the Triveni of celebration. It is the measure of importance that we accord to our relations with Bangladesh that it is the destination of the first post-pandemic visits both President and Prime Minister. It is also the only country visited by the PM, president and foreign minister in the short period of time in the recent past,” he said.