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Sunday, June 7, 2015, Jaishtha 24, 1422 BS, Shaban 19, 1436 Hijr

Modi makes it with love and affection
Diplomatic Correspondent
Published : Sunday, 7 June, 2015,  Time : 12:00 AM,  View Count : 176
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi hours before he commenced his maiden two-day official visit to Bangladesh on Saturday expressed the hope for a "very good visit that will strengthen ties between India and Bangladesh".
He tweeted on board his special Indian air force aircraft Rajdoot and wrote "I bring with me the affection and goodwill of the people of India."
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina welcomed her counterpart at the VVIP Tarmac of the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport after the special flight (K-5012) touched down at 10:08am.
A red carpet rolled out for the Indian Prime Minister who arrived in Dhaka on a two-day state visit, his first to Bangladesh after assuming office.
Minutes after he landed in Dhaka, Modi's PMO account tweeted to thank Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for the warm welcome.
Accompanied by Bangladesh Prime MInister Sheikh Hasina, Modi proceeded towards the makeshift "Saluting Dais".
A smartly turned out contingent drawn from Bangladesh Army, Navy and Air Force gave a guard of honour and state salute to Modi.
A 19-gun salute heralded the arrival of the Indian Prime Minister when he alighted from the Indian air force jet at 10.25 am.
In good spirit he tweeted earlier: "Leaving for Bangladesh. This visit is going to strengthen the bond between our nations, benefitting people of our countries and our region."
India's Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar has termed the visit 'historic' and said it will "completely settle boundary with Bangladesh".
"We have solved many issues and our relations have reached a historic height," Bangladesh Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali said.
The two heads of governments acknowledged the salute and inspected the guard of honour.
The national anthems of the two countries were played on the occasion.
Modi motorcade straight from the airport was driven to the National Martyrs Memorial at Savar to pay his respects to the martyrs of Bangladesh's Liberation War against Pakistan.
He described that the "Memorial gives impression of rising from the ashes like a phoenix. It symbolises courage and determination of people."
He visited Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi to pay homage to the Father of the Nation Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and said, "Saluting an icon of democracy, a towering personality and a great friend of India, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman."
Modi's entourage will stay at Hotel Pan Pacific Sonargoan during the visit.
Narendra Modi has held a discussion with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at 3:15pm at Sonargaon Hotel, ahead of their meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Officials did not disclose the agenda of discussion, but it is understood that they discussed the modalities of Teesta treaty.
Later the Indian Prime Minister and Mamata made their way to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) after their meeting.
Both leaders witnessed the exchange of instruments of ratification of Land Boundary Agreement, and signing of MoUs, agreements and exchanges of documents.
Hasina hosted a state banquet in honour of the visiting leader on Saturday night at the hotel. On request of Hasina, Mamata cancelled her flight to return to Kolkata on Saturday night and also joined the dinner.
On Sunday morning, the Indian leader will begin the day with prayers at Dhakeshwari National Temple at 8:45am. Then he will visit the Ramkrishna Mission.
After 10am, he will come to the Indian High Commission's New Chancery Complex at Baridhara to attend High Commission's programmes.
Then he will go back to his hotel before leaving for Bangabhaban to meet President Md Abdul Hamid.
He will receive the Award of Liberation War Honour on behalf of former Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and attend a private lunch hosted by the President.
Leader of the Opposition Raushan Ershad will call on him at his hotel suite at about 3:10pm, before he delivers a public speech at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre at 6:30pm.
Although meeting with BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia was not included in official itinerary of Modi, sources said some she along with political leaders will also call on Modi before his public speech at his hotel at 4pm on Sunday.
He will leave Dhaka at about 8:10pm on Sunday and will be seen off by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at the VVIP Tarmac.
Modi earlier said his visit would focus on trade and connectivity and be beneficial for the people of the both countries.

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
Published by the Editor on behalf of the Observer Ltd. from Globe Printers, 24/A, New Eskaton Road, Ramna, Dhaka. Editorial, News and Commercial Offices : Aziz Bhaban (2nd floor), 93, Motijheel C/A, Dhaka-1000. Phone :9586651-58. Fax: 9586659-60, Advertisemnet: 9513663, E-mail: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected].