Updated: January 30, 2021 8:14:16 am
FOREIGN SECRETARIES of India and Bangladesh on Friday carried out a comprehensive review of the overall bilateral ties and held discussions on preparations for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s likely visit to Dhaka on March 26.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said both sides reviewed progress in the bilateral relationship, including in the areas of defence and security, border management, trade, connectivity, power, energy and cooperation in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.
Bangladesh Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen arrived here on Thursday on a three-day visit, primarily to prepare ground for Modi’s upcoming visit to Dhaka.
In the talks held under the framework of India-Bangladesh foreign office consultations, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla and Momen agreed to maintain the steady momentum of bilateral cooperation and people-to-people ties.
“Both sides held a comprehensive review of the progress achieved in the bilateral relationship, including in the areas of Covid-19 cooperation, trade, connectivity, development partnership, power, energy and water resources, regional and multilateral cooperation as well as border management and security and defence cooperation,” the MEA said in a statement.
At a virtual summit with his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina last month, Modi described the neighbouring country as a “key pillar” of India’s ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy.
The MEA said discussion also focussed on preparations for the forthcoming visit of Modi to Dhaka and events relating to the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries.
“Both sides also agreed to hold the next home secretary level talks, commerce secretary level talks and the secretary level meeting of joint rivers commission before the March summit,” it said.
It said both sides noted with appreciation the cooperation on the coronavirus-related issues, including India’s gift of two million doses of Covishield vaccine to Bangladesh in keeping with its ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy.
The two countries underscored the importance of the year 2021 in the context of the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Bangladesh, the 50th year of bilateral diplomatic ties as well as the birth centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
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