Sonowal calls for better Indo-Bangladesh ties to tackle terrorism

Speaking about the intrinsic relationship between India and Bangladesh, Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal emphasized to ensure that respective territories of both the countries are not allowed to be used for any activities inimical to the other.

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The Assam chief minister speaking at the inauguration of the 8th round of India-Bangladesh Friendship Dialogue, which started in Guwahati on June 2. The three-day programme was being organized from July 2-4 by the State Innovation and Transformation Aayog (SITA), Assam in joint collaboration with Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies, Bangladesh Foundation for Regional Studies (BFRS) and India Foundation (IF).

“We have common enemies, problems and threats, those have to be combated and fought together. Our common enemy is poverty and together we have to fight that. Our common threats are terrorism and fundamentalism. We have to fight them together,” the chief minister said.

Stating that terrorism remains one of the most significant threats to peace and stability in the region, the chief minister urged both the governments to commit themselves to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.

Sonowal also highlighted the urgent need to improve market access and remove barriers to trade, including port restrictions on products, to ensure smooth movement of goods across the borders.

Appreciating the initiative taken up by Bangladesh government for setting up of an assistant high commissionerate of Bangladesh in Guwahati, the chief minister highlighted the milestones achieved during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Bangladesh in June 2015 when as many as 22 agreements were signed by both the countries.

The chief minister spoke about issues like dredging of Brahmaputra and Barak rivers to make river route navigable, expansion of optical fibre cable connectivity from Agartala to connect Cox Bazar’s submarine bandwidth.

Union minister of state for external affairs, MJ Akbar in his speech emphasized on the shared capabilities that both the countries have to prosper and move forward. Stating that prosperity demands peace, the union minister advocated to ensure that no sanctuary to be provided to terrorist elements.

Akbar said that both countries are showing a model relationship for mutual growth and pointed out the role played by the visit of Indian and Bangladesh prime ministers to the respective countries.