Indian Prime Minister Modi is set to visit Bangladesh on March 26 to join the 50th anniversary of Bangladesh’s Independence and 50 years of
Bangladesh-India diplomatic ties at the invitation of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
The upcoming visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Bangladesh will be top of the agenda during the Foreign Office Consultations (FOC) scheduled to be held between the two countries tomorrow here.
“Preparation of PM visit will be discussed during the FOC…Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla and his Bangladesh counterpart Masud Bin Momen will lead their respective sides to the FOC,” said official spokesperson of Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Anurag Srivastava here.
Responding to a query during a virtual media briefing here this evening, he said comprehensive discussion ranging from cooperation in the wake of Covid-19, border management, security issues, trade and investment, connectivity, regional and multilateral issues will feature the India-Bangladesh FOC.
“Both the sides will also discuss joint activities to be held throughout the year as the two countries celebrate 50 years of their diplomatic ties.
Preparations for the upcoming visit of the PM to Bangladesh will also be discussed,” he added.
In this connection, the spokesperson said Bangladesh is one of the key pillars of India’s ‘Neighborhood First’ Policy and both the countries have comprehensive cooperation through more than 60 bilateral mechanisms.
However, Bangladesh mission sources told BSS that entire gamut of bilateral issues including water sharing, border management and issues
relating to Rohingya cooperation will be discussed in the FOC along with follow up the joint declaration made after the virtual summit of
the two prime ministers last month.
When asked about the outcome of the 2nd round of Bangladesh-India Consular Dialogue held here today, the MEA spokesperson said that
entire gamut of consular issues were discussed during the meeting.
The discussion included finalisation of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for consular access, verification of nationality and release of detainees, particularly early release of detained fishermen, he said.
“ It was agreed that implementation of provisions under the Revised Travel Arrangements (2018) relating to tourist, student and business visas and further liberalization of visa formalities and entry and exit norms would further enhance ease of travel,” said a MEA statement issued here after the dialogue.
It said that both the sides reiterated their commitment to continue to work towards citizen-centric consular mechanisms Sanjay Bhattacharyya, Secretary (CPV & OIA) led the Indian delegation while the delegation from Bangladesh was led by Amb.
Mashfee Binte Shams, Secretary (East) to the dialogue held in a fruitful manner. The next Consular Dialogue will be scheduled in Dhaka.