Bangladesh Top in India’s Neighbour First Policy: Swaraj in Dhaka
File image of Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and EAM Sushma Swaraj. 
File image of Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and EAM Sushma Swaraj. (Photo: IANS)
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Bangladesh Top in India’s Neighbour First Policy: Swaraj in Dhaka

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We Will Solve All Irritants With Sincerity, Says Sushma Swaraj

India will resolve all irritants in ties with Bangladesh with sincerity, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said on Monday, 23 October, as she inaugurated 15 Indian-assisted development projects worth about $8.7 million.

On the last day of her Bangladesh visit, Swaraj lit the ceremonial lamp to mark the opening of the sprawling new chancery complex of the Indian High Commission in Dhaka.

During the ceremony, she also launched 15 development projects being funded by India in Bangladesh, which officials said have been planned as per the country's geographical spread, socio-economic benefits and priorities.

India is following a policy of neighbours first, and among the neighbours Bangladesh is foremost.
Sushma Swaraj

She said the relations between the neighbours are now outstanding, and that both countries are working to resolve these irritants in the spirit of “friendly relations and with right intention”.

She did not specify the nature of the issues, but the water sharing of common rivers, particularly the Teesta, has long been pending between the two neighbours.

“I can assure you we (both countries) will solve all irritants with sincerity,” she said.

Myanmar Must Take Back Their Nationals: Swaraj

Foreign minister Sushma Swaraj reiterated India’s concerns over violence in Myanmar and said normalcy would only be restored with the return of the displaced people to Rakhine state.

Recalling India's efforts to help Bangladesh deal with the situation resulting from the arrival of refugees from Myanmar, Swaraj said India was deeply concerned at the spate of violence.

We have urged that the situation be handled with restraint, keeping in mind the welfare of the population.
Sushma Swaraj

She was quoted by Bangladeshi media as having told Hasina that Myanmar must take its people back. “Myanmar must take back their nationals, they are a big burden for Bangladesh...How long will Bangladesh bear it? There should be a permanent solution,” Swaraj reportedly said in the meeting.

Swaraj Meets Bangladesh Opposition Leader

Sushma Swaraj met leader of Opposition Raushen Ershad and exchanged views on strengthening bilateral ties. She also met BNP Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia and exchanged views on issues of mutual interest

Sushma Meets Bangladesh PM Hasina

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj called on Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday. The MEA handle tweeted that the two leaders discussed situation arising out of “influx of displaced persons from Rakhine State” and a need for an early and lasting solution.

India-Bangaldesh Will Fight Terror Together: Sushma

Following a meeting with her Bangladeshi counterpart, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said that both the countries will “continue to fight the scourge of terrorism together”

We discussed common challenges, one such challenge is that of terrorism, radicalisation and extremism. We will continue to fight this scourge together and along with other like minded countries.
Sushma Swaraj, External Affairs Minister

She added that both the countries were “determined to protect our societies from threat of ideologies of hate, violence and terror by adopting a zero tolerance policy”.

She also reportedly added that India was “deeply concerned at the spate of violence in the Rakhine state of Myanmar” against the Rohingya.

Swaraj, who arrived here on a two-day visit, said “India has been a longstanding and reliable development partner of Bangladesh”.

“Totally, three lines of credit amounting to USD 8 billion have been extended by India to Bangladesh so far. This is by far the largest development assistance that India has extended to any country worldwide,” she said.

Sushma, Mahmud Hold Meeting

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Bangladeshi counterpart AH Mahmud Ali co-chaired 4th JCC Meeting and reviewed various aspects of bilateral relations.

(Photo Courtesy: Twitter/@MEAIndia)

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj visited Dhaka on 22 and 23 October to attend a joint consultative committee meeting to review the bilateral ties between India and Bangladesh and discuss ways to further strengthen the relationship.

Snapshotclose

  • External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj concluded her two-day bilateral visit to Bangladesh
  • She met Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and main Opposition leader Raushan Ershad
  • Swaraj inaugurated 15 projects funded by the Indian government during her visit

Swaraj Arrives in Dhaka

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj arrived in Dhaka on 22 October, on a two-day visit, to attend a joint consultative committee meeting to review the bilateral ties between India and Bangladesh and discuss ways to further strengthen the relationship.

Swaraj, who arrived on a special Indian aircraft, was received by her Bangladesh counterpart AH Mahmud Ali at the Bangabandhu Air Base in Dhaka.

Officials said the Teesta river deal and the Rohingya crisis were among issues likely to be discussed in Swaraj's talks with Ali.

Sushma Expected to Sign Two MoUs

Sushma Swaraj is “expected to meet the Bangladeshi leadership and also interact with the representatives of leading Bangladeshi think-tanks, chambers of commerce and industry and cultural organisations,” an Indian High Commission statement said.

Bangladesh foreign ministry officials added Swaraj was scheduled to call on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, main Opposition leader Raushan Ershad of Jatiya Party and former premier Khaleda Zia later today.

Swaraj is likely to join the signing of two memorandums of understanding (MoUs) for setting up a "common facility centre" for small and medium enterprises in southwestern city of Khulna and export of hi-speed diesel to Bangladesh, they said, adding that she would also inaugurate 15 development projects funded by the Indian government.

This is Sushma Swaraj's second visit to Bangladesh, and it comes after the recent trip of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley during which India operationalised a USD 4.5 billion line of credit to Bangladesh to enable implementation of development projects in key areas, including power, railways, roads and shipping.

The announcement of the line of credit was made during the visit of Prime Minister Hasina to India in April.

The development is also seen as India's attempt to counter increasing Chinese influence in Bangladesh, where Beijing is trying to make inroads in infrastructure ventures.

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