Bangladesh’s Sheikh Hasina Praises India Help During Covid, Ukraine War

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Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi led initiative towards rescuing students of her country who were stuck in eastern Europe following the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Prime Minister Hasina, who is set to visit India on Monday, also praised the Narendra Modi government’s gesture of providing COVID-19 vaccines to neighboring countries under its Vaccine Maitri program when the pandemic was spreading fast.

The Bangladesh prime minister emphasized closer cooperation between the two neighbors. There can be differences, but these should be addressed through dialogue, she said, adding that in a number of areas, India and Bangladesh had precisely done that.

She, however, marked out two areas for special praise where the Indian government’s support helped Bangladeshi citizens. One of these was the evacuation of Bangladesh students, who, like many Indians, were stuck in Ukraine and its neighboring countries after the outbreak of the conflict.

She also gave details about her country’s vaccination program. Bangladesh has administered Covid-19 vaccines to 90 percent of its population. “Usually, you know, people from our country, especially the village level, even in some towns also, I found many people very much reluctant to take the vaccine. They don’t want to take the… you know… the pinch of needle or ‘sui nai lena hai’ so… but we have to pursue them. We told them that this is nothing, but it will save their life. So that way we engaged everybody so that they make people… so it was really very good initiative, this Vaccine Maitri itself… very good initiative. I really support it,” she said.

Prime Minister Hasina referred to India as a “tested” friend and said that the country had stood by Bangladesh in its hour of need, first in 1971 and then at later times also


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