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Diplomatic - December 8, 2021

Dhaka-Delhi eye unique relationship resolving pending issues

Ways to keep border more peaceful, other pending issues discussed

Diplomatic Correspondent: Bangladesh and India yesterday emphasized expediting efforts to resolve pending issues as the two countries look forward to a “very high-level relationship” finding new areas of cooperation.
Visiting Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla met Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen at his office at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs after holding a detailed discussion with his Bangladesh counterpart Masud Bin Momen at Foreign Service Academy.
Talking to reporters after the meeting, Dr Momen said the two countries agreed to work for the welfare of the people in the two countries. He said the Indian side talked about the border issue and assured Bangladesh of keeping more careful watch to avert any problem along the Bangladesh-India border.
The Foreign Minister recalled the respect shown by the Indian side to Bangladesh throughout this historic year.
After his meeting with Shringla, Foreign Secretary Masud Momen said they discussed the issues of common interest, ways for expediting efforts to address pending issues.
He said there are no major differences between the two sides and discussed ways to find new areas of cooperation.
Foreign Secretary Masud said they discussed ways to keep the border more peaceful and ways to have more trade between the two countries.
On Covid-19 cooperation, he said there is no alternative to continuing cooperation between the two countries as new variant like Omicron is emerging.
Indian Foreign Secretary Shringla said yesterday Bangladesh is a very successful example of a country which has done remarkably very well in terms of steady economic growth. “We’ll be holding more conversations. We certainly look forward to very, very level relationship and high-level Summit,” he said.
Responding to a question on the possibility of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to India, Shringla said Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his visit here in March this year, extended an invitation to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to visit India in 2022 in commemoration of the Golden Jubilee of the establishment of diplomatic relations.
“We’ll work on it through diplomatic channel,” he said, adding that he is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today. Shringla arrived yesterday morning on a two-day visit as India officially announced its President’s state visit to Bangladesh from December 15-17.
Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen received his Indian counterpart upon his arrival by a special aircraft.
India’s relationship with Bangladesh is one of the strongest pillars of its “Neighbourhood First Policy”, said the Indian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
In this special year, Bangladesh and India are jointly commemorating 50 years of the establishment of their diplomatic ties.
The Foreign Secretary’s visit to Bangladesh, a day after the Maitri Diwas celebrations, will provide an opportunity to review the wide-ranging cooperation between the two countries, the MEA said. The visit will also help prepare for the State visit of President of India Ram Nath Kovind to Bangladesh from December 15 to 17.
At the invitation of President Abdul Hamid, the President of India will pay the state visit to attend the 50th Victory Day celebrations of Bangladesh.
During the visit, the President will hold a delegation-level meeting with President Hamid. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will also have a meeting with the President. Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen will also call on him.
On Monday in New Delhi, the Indian Foreign Secretary said India will cooperate increasingly with Bangladesh, noting that the next 50 years of two countries’ shared journey will bring even greater satisfaction for both sides.
Loosely translated, he said, this Maitri Diwas means ‘Friendship Day” but ‘’Maitri” has a much deeper connotation.
“It’s a relationship that has a depth, and has significance beyond the ordinary. It’s a bond that has stood the test of time,” Shringla said at a discussion “Maitri Diwas, 50th Anniversary of India-Bangladesh Diplomatic Relations” held in New Delhi.

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