India maintains strong ties with neighbours: Rajnath

Minister of Defence, Rajnath Singh
Minister of Defence, Rajnath SinghFile/ GK

Kolkata, July 15:Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Friday that India is trying to help Sri Lanka as appropriately as possible to deal with the unprecedented crisis that the island nation is facing.

He said that the country has maintained strong and friendly relations with all its neighbours, whether it is Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Maldives or Bangladesh, and has undertaken various endeavours to keep ties intact.

“India is trying to help friend Sri Lanka as appropriately as possible despite having also been affected by COVID-19 and Ukraine crises,” he said.

Sri Lanka is going through unprecedented economic and political turmoil, which has plunged the country into a state of chaos.

Speaking at the launch of the stealth frigate ‘Dunagiri’ on river Hooghly, built by defence PSU Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers, Singh said that India provided medical and other emergency assistance to Nepal, Maldives and other countries amid the COVID-19 crisis.

Dunagiri is the second of the three stealth frigates that the GRSE is building for the Navy, with the first Himgiri having been launched in December 2020.

Praising its eastern neighbour Bangladesh profusely, the defence minister said that the way the country is making progress in all fields; it will certainly rise to new heights of advancement in the future.

“India, as a neighbour, is very happy that Bangladesh is making all-around progress and moving fast on the path of development leaving behind religious influence and narrowness and adopting modernisation, secularism and empowerment of women,” he maintained.

Singh said that Bangladesh’s socio-economic development model is an example for many countries in the world.

Without naming Pakistan, he said that a neighbourwhich is totally attached to religious fanaticism and is itself affected by it, besides poverty, needs to learn a lot from Bangladesh instead of troubling India with its antics.

“India has always stood by Bangladesh in health, education, economy, and connectivity and security fields and will be there in future also,” he said.

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