Bangladesh on Monday thanked India for providing 10 broad gauge diesel locomotives, with its Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen saying it would help bring both sides even closer and further take the "rock solid" bilateral relations to new heights.
"This would help bring our two peoples even closer," the foreign minister said at the handing over ceremony of locomotives which was conducted online in view of the coronavirus pandemic.
Momen thanked India for offering Bangladesh the diesel locomotives as a mark of enduring friendship, the Dhaka Tribune newspaper said.
This is in line with India's commitment during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's visit to New Delhi in October 2019 and Prime Minister Narendra Modi's renewed focus on neighbourhood first policy.
"Over the last few years, India and Bangladesh have scripted a golden chapter in partnership under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Prime Minister Narendra Modi," Momen was quoted as saying by the paper.
Bangladesh Railway Minister Md. Nurul Islam Sujan and Foreign Minister Momen, Bangladesh High Commissioner to India Muhammad Imran and Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Riva Ganguly Das attended the online ceremony. From Indian side, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal attended the event.
"We are indeed enjoying the best of relations," Momen said, mentioning that last week, for the first time, 50 containers loaded with FMCG cargoes and fabrics arrived in Bangladesh from India through Benapole-Petrapole rail link.
Last week, the first transshipment of goods (iron and pulses) from Kolkata to India's North-East took place through Bangladesh's Chittagong port.
"India-Bangladesh relationship is rock solid and is based on shared values, principles and confidence; touching almost every sphere of our lives, including politics, culture, trade, investment, water, energy, power, transportation, logistics, security, and much more," Momen said.
"I am sure we would be able to further lift our relations to new heights in the coming days," he said.
Connectivity in the region will unpack numerous opportunities for the people of South Asia, said the foreign minister.
Officials in New Delhi said all locos have residual life of 28 years or more and they are designed for speed of up to 120 km per hour.
In the recent times, the MEA said, India and Bangladesh have stepped up cooperation between their railways in mitigating the impact of the COVID 19 pandemic as trade via land border faced disruptions.