Kolkata: On the occasion of Bangladesh Vijay Diwas, Andalib Elias, Bangladesh Deputy High Commissioner, highlighted the strong personal relationship between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Elias emphasised the mutual trust and respect between the leaders, stating that such camaraderie strengthens the overall relationship between the two neighbouring countries.

"PM Narendra Modi and my Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina enjoy a wonderful personal relationship built on mutual trust and respect. So that's very important when two heads of government of two neighbouring countries, respect each other. They have very good contact with each other. They can talk to each other whenever necessary. That really strengthens the relationship," Elias told ANI.

He further extended warm greetings on the occasion of Vijay Diwas, commemorating the victory day of Bangladesh 52 years ago. Elias expressed profound thanks to the Indian government, people, and the Armed Forces for their significant role during the war, highlighting the sacrifices made by the Indian Armed Forces personnel.

"First of all, many greetings to everyone on behalf of this occasion of the Vijay Diwas. The victory day of Bangladesh. It's one of the greatest occasions for us, 52 years ago. On this day, the final victory of Bangladesh was achieved," he said.

The day commenced with the formal flag-raising ceremony for Bangladesh, accompanied by the National Anthem. Elias announced a two-day cultural event, inaugurated by Sobhondeb Chattopadhyay, Agriculture and Parliamentary Affairs Minister of the Government of West Bengal, to celebrate the occasion.

"We will be having a series of different performances, like songs, dances and recitations, today and tomorrow. So these are all the testimonies of the friendship that we have between the two countries," Elias added.

As a testament to their enduring friendship, Elias acknowledged the Indian Army's programmes and expressed gratitude for their hospitality during his visit to an Indian Army village.

"We will be having a series of different performances, like songs, dances and recitations, today and tomorrow. So these are all the testimonies of the friendship that we have between the two countries. So the Indian Army has a lot of programmes for them and I was also invited. I spent the whole day with them at the village of Indian Army and I'm thankful to them for that," he added.

Looking ahead, Elias expressed confidence in the golden phase of the relationship between India and Bangladesh, anticipating further strengthening under the visionary leadership of both nations.

"The relationship is built on blood and sweat and they have taken it further. We have reached the golden phase of our relationship and we are confident that under the leadership of these two very visionary global leaders, this relationship will further strengthen and cement in the coming days," he also said.

Elias also highlighted the significance of the pivotal year 2024 as both countries, vibrant democracies, prepare for major elections, showcasing the power of people's choices in shaping the destiny of nations.

"2024 is a turning year for, I will say, a very important pivotal year for India and Bangladesh. There is huge excitement and festivity in the festive mood in Bangladesh already. In the same manner, next year, by the middle of next year, we will have the largest parliamentary election in India, the largest democracy in the world. So these two countries are again testimonies to the world of how a vibrant democracy and people's choices can lead the countries to their successes. It's so best of luck to the people of India and to my countrymen," Bangladesh Deputy High Commissioner said.

Notably, India was the first country to recognise Bangladesh as a separate and independent state and established diplomatic relations with the country immediately after its independence in December 1971, according to the Ministry of External Affairs.