External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna, who arrived here on Wednesday on a three-day visit to fine-tune preparations for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit here in September, said he wanted the two neighbours to strengthen and broaden relations.

Mr. Krishna said: “India wishes to discuss the scope for a broader cooperation framework which will significantly improve the livelihood of the people of the two countries. We want to see a prosperous, stable and democratic Bangladesh, [which] is in the interest of both the countries and the region,” he told journalists.

“India remains committed to a partnership in the development and prosperity of the people of Bangladesh. Both the countries remain steadfast in their efforts to combat the scourge of terrorism,” the Minister observed and said he was looking forward to a productive and focussed interaction on bilateral relations.

Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dipu Moni, who received her Indian counterpart at the airport, said that both sides would discuss the entire gamut of relations. Ms. Moni said Dhaka attached priority to regional connectivity that includes connectivity of ideas, people and cultures. She looked forward to reviewing the progress on earlier decisions, particularly those mentioned in the joint communiqué signed during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's visit to New Delhi last year. Relations between the two countries were rooted in history, characterised by warmth and cordiality, she said.

Mr. Krishna said both India and Bangladesh are at a historic juncture. “Forward-looking, progressive and pragmatic approaches need to be taken to bring a brighter future. A prosperous, stable and democratic Bangladesh is in the interest of both the countries and the region,” he added.

More In: National | News