Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla will pay a two-day visit to Dhaka on December 7-8 to discuss a host of bilateral issues, including preparations for President Ram Nath Kovind's trip to Bangladesh from December 15-17.
This will be the first visit by the 14th President of India to Bangladesh. He was sworn in as President on July 25, 2017. Bangladesh is celebrating the Golden Jubilee of its Independence and the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as well as 50 years of the establishment of diplomatic ties between Dhaka and Delhi.
Diplomatic sources said Shringla's trip will focus on the preparation of Kovind's itinerary in Dhaka. The visit is also aimed at strengthening the ties between the two countries. This is Shringla’s third visit to Bangladesh after he took office as the Foreign Secretary.
He will also meet Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen and his counterpart Masud Bin Momen when a host of issues, including economic cooperation, cross-border projects, health cooperation as well as regional developments will come up for discussion
The two countries are also going to commemorate December 6 as "Maitri Diwas" (Friendship Day), the day when India recognised Bangladesh in 1971, across the world capitals. Ten days before the liberation of Bangladesh, India had recognised Bangladesh on 6 December 1971. India was one of the first countries to establish bilateral diplomatic ties with Bangladesh.
The ‘Maitri Diwas’ is being commemorated in 18 countries around the world apart from in Dhaka and Delhi. These countries are Belgium, Canada, Egypt, Indonesia, Russia, Qatar, Singapore, UK, Australia, France, Japan, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Switzerland, Thailand, the UAE and the USA.
The holding of ‘Maitri Diwas’ is a reflection of the deep and abiding friendship between the peoples of India and Bangladesh that has been forged in blood and shared sacrifices.
The visit symbolised the partnership of half a century between Bangladesh and India that has strengthened, matured and evolved as a model for bilateral relations for the entire region as both sides recognised.