New Delhi: Indian Army chief General Manoj Pande on Sunday proceeded on a three-day visit to Bangladesh to further strengthen defence and bilateral ties between the two nations, the Indian Army said.

The year 2021 marked the Golden Jubilee of the Liberation War of Bangladesh and 50 years of diplomatic relations between India and Bangladesh.

India and Bangladesh enjoy robust and multifaceted bilateral cooperation in diverse areas, including trade and connectivity, energy and power, water resources, border management, defence and security, culture and people-to-people links.

As part of the Swarnim Vijay Varsh, both countries celebrated Maitri Diwas on 6 December 2021 in India and Bangladesh. Maitri Diwas was also commemorated in 18 countries - Belgium, Canada, Egypt, Indonesia, Russia, Qatar, Singapore, United Kingdom, Australia, France, Japan, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Switzerland, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates and the United States of America.

The India-Bangladesh relationship is an important element of India's "Neighbourhood First" policy. The year 2021 was of special significance as both countries celebrated 50 years of diplomatic relations, five decades of Bangladesh's independence and the birth centenary of its Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

India and Bangladesh celebrated 6 December 2021 as "Maitri Diwas" (Friendship Day) in New Delhi, Dhaka and 18 other world capitals, to commemorate the day on which India extended diplomatic recognition to Bangladesh in 1971.

The cooperation between the two countries is also to be seen in combating the Covid pandemic. India gifted 3.3 million Covishield vaccines to Bangladesh to assist in its ongoing effort to fight the pandemic. This was the largest tranche of Made-in-India Covid-19 vaccines gifted to any country by India.