Mukherjee said India admired Begum Zia's contribution to the development of her country, both as the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition. "India attaches the highest importance to our relations with Bangladesh which is a close neighbour," he said. Begum Zia, widow of former Bangladesh President Ziaur Rehman, has served three terms as the Prime Minister of Bangladesh between 1991 and 2006.
Begum Zia, who was accompanied by a seven member delegation, also met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid and said she had good discussions with both the leaders.
President Mukherjee said he had the privilege of working with the BNP leader twice before she came to power. Stressing close and friendly relations between India and Bangladesh, Mukherjee said there is a huge potential for cooperation between the two countries.
He advised both neighbours to live in a friendly atmosphere and strengthen cooperation in all sectors. He also said that India was determined to address all concerns of Dhaka.
Begum Zia also recalled her past visits to India and long association with President Mukherjee. She also said that her party was committed to establish strong and friendly relations with New Delhi.