Bangladesh ties with India, China stand on different perspectives: Momen

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MEHERPUR, Aug 8, 2020 (BSS) – Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen today said Bangladesh ties with New Delhi and Beijing stood on different perspectives while history and emotion made it “rock solid” in the case of India while crucial economic issues dominate the relations with China.

“We must not compare the relationships” from an identical standpoint, he told newsmen after paying tributes to the memories of 1971 Liberation War martyrs on a memorial at western Meherpur bordering India, the site where the first Bangladesh government was sworn-in in 1971.

Momen added: “Our tie with India is historic . . . rock solid; it is a blood relation while economic issues mainly fixed our relations with China.”

“Our victory is India’s victory. Our development is India’s development . . . nothing can hinder this (Bangladesh-India) relation.”

The minister’s comments came as approached for remarks on Dhaka’s ties with India and China against the background of recently resurfaced tensions between Bangladesh’s two giant neighbours.

Momen visited Meherpur, where the oath of office of first Bangladesh government was administered on April 17, 1971 with Syed Nazrul Islam as the acting president and Tajuddin Ahmed as the prime minister to wage the war with crucial Indian supports.

Bangladesh’s founder and Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was declared president in the swearing in ceremony in absentia as he was in Pakistani captivity since the Pakistani troops March 25 black night clampdown on unarmed Bengalis.

Momen called the current Dhaka-New Delhi relations “tremendously good” and the two countries were set to celebrate jointly next year Bangladesh’s 50-year independent anniversary.

He said Bangladesh and India resolved major bilateral matters like land and maritime boundaries and security issues amicably while attained progress on water sharing.

“There are, however, some pending issues. Keep faith on us . . . we will resolve them (as well),” Momen said.

But he declined to comment on ongoing New Delhi-Beijing tensions saying “this is their headache, nothing to do with us” while Bangladesh preferred to focus on its own development maintaining ties with both the countries.

“They are big trading partners of ours,” he said adding Dhaka wants to reap benefits of trade ties with both India and China.

Asked for comments about the fate of proposed trial of Chinese vaccines in Bangladesh, Momen said many countries in the world were working in collaboration to get access to a prospective COVID-19 vaccine.

“India and Pakistan also went for collaboration with others (regarding vaccine trials). We (Bangladesh) are yet to go for collaboration. (But) We should go for it (vaccine collaboration) as well,” he said.

He said Dhaka already contributed to a European Union fund so that Bangladesh can get probable COVID vaccine smoothly.