Dhaka: Indian Army Chief General Manoj Pande called on General SM Shafiuddin Ahmed, Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Bangladesh Army on Monday and discussed ways to enhance and strengthen bilateral defence cooperation between the two countries.

"General Manoj Pande #COAS called on General SM Shafiuddin Ahmed, COAS #BangladeshArmy and discussed ways to enhance & strengthen bilateral defence cooperation between the two countries," the Indian Army tweeted.

The Indian Army chief, who arrived in Bangladesh on Sunday, received a Guard of Honour at a convention centre of the Armed Forces in Dhaka on Monday.

"General Manoj Pande COAS received an impressive Guard of Honour at Senakunja Bangladesh. He also planted a tree to commemorate the friendship between the two Armies," Indian Army tweeted.

"General Manoj Pande COAS laid a wreath at ShikhaAnirban and paid tributes to the #Bravehearts who laid down their lives for the Liberation of Bangladesh," it said in another tweet.

The Indian Army Chief, who is on a four-day visit to Bangladesh, was accompanied by his spouse Archana Pande and a three-member delegation on this trip, according to the statement released by Indian Embassy in Dhaka.

During this visit, the Indian Army Chief is scheduled to pay courtesy calls to the Bangladesh Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina and her Security Affairs Advisor. He will also pay courtesy calls to service Chiefs of the Bangladesh Army, Navy, Air Force, and PSO Armed Forces Division of Bangladesh and will meet other senior officers of the Bangladesh Armed Forces.

"The Indian Army Chief will visit Defence Service Command & Staff College Mirpur and will share his experience with student officers and faculty of the Armed Forces War Course. The General officer will also visit Bangladesh Institute of Peace Support Operation Training. The visit of the Indian Army Chief will further strengthen the close and fraternal ties existing between the Armed Forces of the two countries," the statement reads.

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.

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.