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“Indo-Bangla ties have withstood test of time”

Indo Bangla ties have withstood test of time India-Bangladesh relations have withstood “the test of time”, setting a precedent for other regional countries to emulate, Bangladeshi foreign minister said today even as former envoys of the two nations warned that trust deficit is still a problem in bilateral ties.

“Despite ups and downs (in the past), Bangladesh-India relations now reached such a height, from where it will now only blossom,” Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali said at a meeting held at the premier Dhaka University here.

Despite past ups and downs, Dhaka-Delhi ties have now reached an irreversible height, Ali said at the first-ever ‘India-Bangladesh High Commissioners’ Summit’.

“Relations between Bangladesh and India have withstood the test of time. Today, the entire world is interested in our relationship,” Ali said.

“This has set a precedent for other countries in the region to emulate. It also signifies the width, depth and the level of confidence in our bilateral relations,” he said.

He, however, said there would always be issues between neighbours, and Bangladesh and India were “no exceptions” but “you have seen how the relationship began and how it evolved and flourished over the years”.

“The relationship is on the upswing,” the foreign minister said.

Six former Indian high commissioners who served in Dhaka in 1970s and subsequent years and six of Bangladesh envoys to India joined the two-day discourse that began today to review the past and present courses of bilateral ties and recommend future course of action.

International relations department of the Dhaka University hosted the summit jointly with India Bangladesh Foundation.

Most of the participating ex-diplomats agreed that lack of “trust and confidence” remained a major factor in bilateral relations while they laid emphasis on ensuring political consensus in both the countries to solidify the ties.

Former Bangladesh foreign secretary and envoy in Delhi Faruq Sobhan said despite many achievements of bilateral ties, there remained a gap between “reality and perception” while lack of mutual trust and confidence remained to be a “big problem”.