March 2017 \ Cover Story \ DIPLOMATIC INTERVIEW
“Our relationship with India is based on mutual benefit and equality”

H.E. Syed Muazzem Ali was born on July 18, 1944 in Sylhet. He obtained his Master’s Degree in Science from Dhaka University in 1966, and placed in the First class.

A record number of bilateral documents were concluded during Mr. Modi’s visit. Please take us through some of the most significant ones…
The 22 agreements/MoUs that were signed during Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Bangladesh cover diverse areas such as security, trade, connectivity, economic cooperation, technology transfer, and scientific research, educational and cultural cooperation. Among the newer areas of cooperation are renewal of Bilateral Trade Agreement, Energy, Agreement on Coastal Shipping, Inland Water Transit and Trade, bus service, Blue Economy and Maritime Cooperation in the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean, use of Chittagong and Mongla ports, newer radio and TV programmes etc. Now, this is important for both the sides to take forward the progress and implement those agreements/MoUs. We are also constantly discussing longer term trade, investment and transit agreements, use of port facilities, blue water cooperation etc. and we hope that their proper and early implementation will bring in a qualitative change in our bilateral ties as well as in our sub-region.
Following President Mukherjee’s visit to Bangladesh in March 2013, H.E. President Mohammad Abdul Hamid visited India in December 2014, marking the first visit by a Head of state from Bangladesh in 42 years. So in a sense, relations have never been better. Your views please.

There is no doubt that bilateral relations have reached its peak in current time. And all these VVIP visits are testimony to that statement. The relationship is now based on “mutual benefit, equality and respect for sovereignty” and “as an example of progress in looking at a shared future”. I believe, the emotional bonds stemming from the invaluable contributions of the Government and the people of India during Bangladesh’s War of Liberation would continue to remain a dominant factor in the country’s political, cultural and social wave.