Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar on Thursday, 4 March, arrived at Dhaka in Bangladesh in a bid to get things ready for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s upcoming visit to the country, and also to hold talks with the Bangladesh foreign minister.
On Thursday itself, he met Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in Dhaka and went on to tweet photographs of their meeting saying, “Her sagacity and leadership inspires their relationship.”
Jaishankar was reportedly received by Bangladesh Foreign Minister AK Andul Momeen at the Kurmitola air force base in Dhaka and the the duo also participated in a meeting during the day.
WHAT JAISHANKAR SAID IN DHAKA
Jaishankar, on Thursday, addressed a multitude of pertinent issues with regard to India-Bangladesh ties.
Pointing out that “the largest number of vaccines shipped by India to any foreign country so far - 9 million - has been to Bangladesh,” Jaishankar said:
“This is a difficult time for all of us because of COVID. For us, it was important that we are partnering with you in your health and economic recovery.”
Further, he went on to talk about killings at India-Bangladesh border and said: “ Many of the deaths are fairly deep inside India. We discussed it as neighbours and friends and agreed that our objective should be 'no crime, no death border'. If we can get it right, we can address the problem effectively.”
He also addressed the issue of Teesta river and said, “We (India) did discuss it, we have a meeting of our water resources secretaries very soon.”
“I'm sure they will be discussing it further,” he added, according to ANI.
“I think you all know government of India's position, that position has not changed,” he further informed Dhaka.
He also lauded Bangladesh for graduating from the 'Least Developed Country' status and said that India will always be at its side as a "reliable friend", reported IANS.
Jaishankar said that India and Bangladesh relations transcend even the strategic partnership. The bonding between the two countries, he said, is central to the realisation of a dream of a peaceful, prosperous, and progressive South Asia.
"It is in pursuit of this vision that both sides have made remarkable progress in our relationship, especially since Prime Minister Narendra Modi's assumption of office in May 2014," he added.
"We see Bangladesh as a key neighbour and a valued partner, not only in South Asia but also in the broader Indo-Pacific region,” he said, according to IANS.
As per PTI, Jaishankar and his Bangladesh counterpart will be laying the groundwork for PM Modi’s upcoming visit.
They are also expected to engage in talks on a multitude of bilateral as well as regional issues.
Further, the two leaders of their own respective countries are going to take an overview of bilateral Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) that are expected to be signed during PM Modi’s visit.
MODI’S UPCOMING VISIT
PM Modi is planning to visit Bangladesh on 26 and 27 March, and to participate in the 50th anniversary celebrations of the liberation of Bangladesh.
Officials have reportedly informed PTI that during Modi’s visit, he and his counterpart Sheikh Hasina will flag off a direct passenger train service between Dhaka and New Jalpaiguri in West Bengal.
(With inputs from PTI and ANI)