RIYADH: The Embassies of India and Bangladesh in Riyadh jointly celebrated “Maitree Diwas” (Friendship Day) on Monday. The governments of both countries declared Dec. 6 as “Maitree Diwas” to mark the day when India recognized Bangladesh as an independent country in 1971.
The celebration coincided with the golden jubilee of Bangladesh’s independence and the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Bangladesh and India.
In commemoration of this day, both embassies held cultural programs on their respective premises. The event saw the attendance of Dr. Nayef Falah Mubarak Al-Hajraf, secretary-general of the Gulf Cooperation Council, as the chief guest. Guests of honor included Bandar Khamies, deputy minister for international economic affairs at the Saudi Ministry of Economy and Planning; Shoura member Dr. Mohammed bin Abdullah Al-Abbas; and Dr. Mohammed Al-Shammaeri, director-general at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The dignitaries congratulated the ambassadors of India and Bangladesh for the momentous occasion.
Indian Ambassador Ausaf Sayeed extended greetings to the people of Bangladesh on the occasion of the centenary year of the birth of their Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the golden jubilee of their independence.
He highlighted that the figure is widely admired and respected in the hearts of the Indian people and mentioned that Indian film director Shyam Benegal is filming Bangabandhu’s biopic, which will pass on his legacy for generations to come.
He also talked about the thriving multifaceted partnership enjoyed between both nations and underlined that it presents as a role model for bilateral and regional cooperation.
In his address, Mohammed Javed Patwary, ambassador of Bangladesh and permanent representative to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, said the celebration reflects the deep and abiding friendship between India and Bangladesh, which is forged in shared tradition, history and culture.
He also dedicated the celebration to the founder of Bangladesh, adding: “Both Bangladesh and India are committed to taking solid and enduring relations to newer heights to ensure the well-being of our people and a sustainable future for our countries.”
He emphasized that under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh is constantly striving to build a Golden Bengal through a great relationship with its neighbors, especially with India.
The celebrations included a magnificent cultural program in the auditorium of the Embassy of India, which comprised performances by dance troupes from Bangladesh and local Indian artists.
Following this, the ambassadors, along with dignitaries, unveiled the logo of “Maitree Diwas” on the premises of the Embassy of Bangladesh, which was followed by a cake-cutting ceremony and screening of a documentary on India-Bangladesh relations.