Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday arrived here ahead of the BRICS-Bimstec Outreach Summit and a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Hasina landed in Goa at 10:30 a.m. and was greeted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“Honoured to host you PM Hasina for BRICS-BIMSTEC Outreach Summit. We cherish the strong ties between India and Bangladesh and applaud your role,” Modi said. The two leaders will hold a meeting later in the day to discuss a wide spectrum of bilateral relations.
Hasina will attend a ceremonial lunch hosted by Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar for all participants of BIMSTEK, before the heads of the member states hold talks over related issues. As host of this year’s BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) Summit, India, as is the practice, can invite neighbouring countries to join in for an outreach summit.
Following the September 18 terror attack at an Indian Army camp in Uri town of Jammu and Kashmir, which left 19 soldiers dead, India chose to invite countries belonging to the Bimstec grouping over those of the Saarc. Countries belonging to the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (Bimstec) are India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Myanmar, Thailand and Sri Lanka.
New Delhi has blamed Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed militant group for the Uri attack and launched a diplomatic blitz to isolate Islamabad in the international community. The invitation to Bimstec countries instead of the Saarc nations is being seen as another step in this direction. Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Maldives are the members of the South Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) which are not the members of Bimstec.