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President Droupadi Murmu on Tuesday said that India is proud to have been a friend and partner in the Liberation War of Bangladesh, and continues to share the development journey with the neighbouring nation.

The President said that India and Bangladesh share a unique bond, founded on their history, culture and sacrifices.

“India is proud to have been a friend and partner in the Liberation War of Bangladesh, and continues to share the development journey with Bangladesh,” she said, addressing a youth delegation from Bangladesh which called on her at the Rashtrapati Bhavan here.

President Murmu said that “we must preserve and nurture this spirit”, which inspires the unique bond between our two countries.

The President said that the relationship between India and Bangladesh is a relationship of the heart and soul.

“We have a deep cultural link, and a common love for art, music, cricket, and food. Our national anthems, both penned by (Rabindranath) Tagore, are a source of pride. We share love for ‘Baul’ music and the works of Kazi Nazrul Islam. Our unity and diversity are celebrated in our shared heritage,” she said.

President Murmu said that India attaches the highest priority to its friendship with Bangladesh, and “we are committed to realizing its full potential”.

She was happy to note that India and Bangladesh are home to a large and energetic youth population, with unlimited potential to shape the world and urged all to harness this potential.

“As the leaders of tomorrow, it is the responsibility of youth to steer us towards a green, sustainable and peaceful world,” the President was quoted as having said in a statement issued by the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

President Murmu urged members of the youth delegation to use the opportunity to experience various aspects of India and its diversity, and the developments in the fields of science, technology, and arts.

She said that as they work towards building a Sonar Bangla, they should also strive to strengthen the bonds of peace, prosperity, and friendship between India and Bangladesh.

Addressing the delegation members, the President said that she was happy to interact with a group of young and talented minds from Bangladesh.

She said that delegates have been selected from all over Bangladesh, and it is inclusive, with over 50 percent women, and participants from all walks of life.

President Murmu said that their presence here is not just a visit; it is a bridge being built between “our nations, and proof of the enduring spirit of cooperation and friendship that defines the India-Bangladesh relationship”.

The Bangladesh Youth Delegation programme was started in 2012 as a joint initiative by the Ministry of External Affairs and the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports. The main objective of this youth programme is to foster goodwill and understanding of each other’s countries, promote exchange of ideas and understanding of values and culture among the youth.