India today said relations with Bangladesh are "exceptionally close" and expressed confidence that both sides appreciate mutual sensibilities and mutual respect.
"India-Bangladesh relations are exceptionally close. Recently, the [Indian] External Affairs Minister had said that Bangladesh is a role model of good neighbourly relations. We are confident that both [countries] appreciate mutual sensibilities and mutual respect to build on the ties," Indian External Affairs Ministry spokesman Anurag Srivastava said at a virtual weekly media briefing in New Delhi.
His remarks came in response to questions by two Indian journalists about Bangladesh Foreign Minister A K M Abdul Momen's recent remark in an interview to Indian newspaper "The Hindu" that India should refrain from making any move that can fracture bilateral relations and mentioned the foundation stone-laying ceremony for Ram temple in Ayodhya. The article, published on July 27, said the inauguration of the construction of the temple "according to commentators of Bangladesh, will give a new political opportunity to the hardline opponents of [Prime Minister] Sheikh Hasina".
Responding to another question by an Indian scribe about a Bangladesh daily report quoting Bangladeshi officials that the 10-diesel locomotives Bangladesh received from India were "second-hand," Srivastava said, "These locos have been provided from our inventory based on a specific request and urgent requirement of Bangladesh."
In this context, Srivastava also reminded the Indian journalist that the same daily had recently carried a "mischievous" story pertaining to India-Bangladesh relations and a "concocted" report about the Indian High Commissioner in Bangladesh not getting an appointment with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for four months.