India’s foreign secretary S. Jaishankar arrived in Dhaka with the aim of firming up deliverables ahead of Sheikh Hasina’s India visit
New Delhi: Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will visit India in April, reports from Dhaka said Thursday, in a trip aimed at boosting her country’s ties with the largest country in South Asia.
The schedule of Hasina’s visit was disclosed after India’s foreign secretary S. Jaishankar called on her at the Bangladesh parliament office.
“The prime minister will go to India in the first half of April,” Deputy press secretary M. Nazrul Islam told reporters after the meeting, according to the bdnews24 website.
The statement put out by the Indian high commission in Bangladesh did not announce Hasina’s visit but said Jaishankar had called on Hasina and “discussed preparatory aspects of the proposed visit of the Prime Minister to India at the invitation of the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi”.
The foreign secretaries of India and Bangladesh “reviewed the areas of bilateral cooperation between the two countries,” the statement said, adding both sides “took stock of decisions taken during the recent meetings of various bilateral mechanisms in the areas of security and border management, trade and commerce, power, energy, shipping, railways,etc.”
“Both foreign secretaries also shared their perspectives on regional and international issues of mutual interest.”
Jaishankar arrived in Dhaka on Thursday after a two-day visit to Beijing. According to officials in New Delhi, the aim of his Bangladesh visit is to firm up deliverables ahead of Hasina’s trip to India.
India-Bangladesh ties have seen an upswing since the two countries completed procedures for the ratification of a 1974 border pact during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Dhaka trip in 2015.
An invitation to Hasina to visit India was extended by Modi at that time. Hasina was to visit India in December 2015 but the visit had to be postponed due to scheduling problems. During Indian minister of state for External Affairs MJ Akbar’s visit to Dhaka in December 2016, it was suggested that the visit might take place in February 2017 but this too had to be postponed due to Modi’s parliamentary commitments and his election campaigning schedules. Hasina too was busy with the World Economic Forum, among other programmes, reports quoting Bangladeshi officials said.
Hasina did visit India in October 2016 to attend the Bimstec (Bangladesh-India-Myanmar-Sri Lanka-Thailand-Bhutan and Nepal) Outreach Meeting in Goa with leaders of the BRICS (Brazail-Russia-India-China-South Africa) countries.
She had met Modi on the sidelines of the summit.
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