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Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar arrives in Dhaka

  • Diplomatic Correspondent
  • 28th April, 2022 09:24:09 AM
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Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has arrived in Dhaka on an official visit to Bangladesh to hand over the invitation of their Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to visit New Delhi.

Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen received his Indian counterpart at BAF Base Bangabandhu at around 2:15pm on Thursday upon his arrival by a special flight of the Indian Air Force.

The Indian External Affairs Minister is scheduled to call on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at Ganabhaban at 4:00pm.

Following his meeting with the Prime Minister, the Indian External Affairs Minister will hold a meeting with his Bangladesh counterpart Momen at Foreign Service Academy at 5:00pm.

Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen will also host an Iftar followed by dinner at the academy in honour of Jaishankar.

During the visit, Foreign Ministry officials said, the date of the 7th Bangladesh-India Joint Consultative Commission (JCC) meeting, which is scheduled to take place in New Delhi, will be fixed.  Officials said Jaishankar’s visit will also be an opportunity for the two sides to review several high-profile projects being implemented as part of the Indian development cooperation.

Diplomatic sources said a visit to India by Sheikh Hasina has been on the cards for several months, especially after Narendra Modi visited Dhaka on March 26-27 last year to join the celebrations of the golden jubilee of Bangladesh's independence, the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the 50th years of establishment of Bangladesh-India diplomatic relations.

Indian President Ram Nath Kovind also paid a state visit to Bangladesh on December 15-17 at the invitation of his Bangladesh counterpart Abdul Hamid to attend the 50th Victory Day celebrations.

It is now expected that the Bangladesh Prime Minister will travel to New Delhi sometime soon after the month of Ramadan or in the second half of the year, diplomatic sources said.

Sheikh Hasina last visited New Delhi on October 3-6 in 2019 to attend the Indian Economic Summit of the World Economic Forum (WEF).

Earlier on Monday, India's Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla told the media in New Delhi that Jaishankar would hand over the invitation letter of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to visit India.

Apart from calling on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Jaishankar will hold bilateral discussion with his Bangladesh counterpart Dr AK Abdul Momen.

“The forthcoming visit of the External Affairs Minister to Bangladesh may be seen in the context of frequent bilateral high-level visits and exchanges particularly as both sides commemorate 50 years of the establishment of diplomatic ties,” the Indian External Affairs Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.

The last visit by the Indian External Affairs Minister to Bangladesh was in March 2021.