General

N crime, no border killing: Jaishankar

Bangladesh and India on Thursday highlighted their shared objective with an approach “no crime, no death” to end killings along the border, noting that every death is regrettable.

“Our shared objective should be no crime, no death (along the border). I’m sure if we can get it right — no crime, no death — we can together address this problem effectively,” Indian External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar told reporters at state guesthouse Padma.

At the joint media briefing, he said the two countries know the problem and the problem is because of crimes and mentioned that the two countries discussed the issue in the meeting.

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen and Indian External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar led their respective sides at a bilateral meeting held at state guesthouse Padma, taking stock of the progress of their relations.

On water sharing issues, including Teesta, the Indian Minister said all know the position of India and that position has not changed.

He said the two countries will have water resources secretary-level meeting soon and he is sure that they will be discussing it further.

The Indian Minister said there is no issue that they cannot discuss and resolve through amicable talks and this is matter of satisfaction that despite pandemic the interactions and conversation continued between the two countries.

He mentioned that commerce, water resources and shipping secretaries are due to meet soon which demonstrate the commitment that both sides have to see progress in their relations.

Stronger Ties Despite Pandemic

The Indian Minister said the pandemic has provided an opportunity to reaffirm their friendship with Bangladesh as Bangladesh is the largest recipient of vaccines from India, including vaccine as gift.

Addressing the briefing, Dr Momen said they discussed a wide range of ongoing bilateral issues as well as bilateral interests that they can take forward in the days ahead.

“We focused on possible ways to materialise our commitments and how to prioritise and accommodate each other’s priorities in a mutually beneficial manner,” he said.

Dr Momen said Covid cooperation, connectivity, trade, water, security, border and lines of credit are some of the areas they discussed.

Landmark Year

Preparations for the visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Bangladesh at the end of this month have been a key element of their discussions.

“We’re very pleased that Prime Minister Modi will join us for the Mujib Borsho celebrations as well as the Golden Jubilee of Bangladesh’s independence and 50 years of Bangladesh-India diplomatic relations,” he said.

Dr Momen said this is a landmark year for the two countries and they discussed some of the important activities that they planned to undertake jointly to celebrate these historic occasions.

He said Bangabandhu-Bapu Digital Exhibition will be inaugurated in Dhaka soon which will ultimately promote the ideals of the two great leaders, particularly among the youth population of the two countries.

“We’re committed to continuing our work together to take our bilateral relations to newer heights under the leadership of our two Prime Ministers,” Dr Momen said.

He said they thankfully acknowledge the collaborative initiative of the two countries in implementing the vaccination programme against the ongoing pandemic.

“Bangladesh has purchased the Covid vaccine from Serum Institute of India and the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is implementing the nationwide vaccination program free of cost,” Dr Momen said.

The two sides discussed ways to take forward the relations as the two countries are set to celebrate the 50 years of Bangladesh independence together this month.

The Indian Minister arrived by a special aircraft in the morning. Foreign Minister Dr Momen welcomed the Indian Minister at Bangabandhu Air Base.

Jaishankar arrived in Dhaka at the invitation of Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen, aiming to deepen the ties between the two countries.

The visit follows on the PM-level Virtual Summit held between two countries on December 17, 2020.

Bangladesh looks forward to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit this month to take forward the bilateral relations with some deliverables, said State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam on Tuesday.

Modi’s planned visit to Bangladesh on March 26-27 will be his first trip abroad in more than a year, mainly because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Bangladesh is set to celebrate the 50th anniversary of independence and 50 years of Bangladesh-India diplomatic relations this year.

The State Minister highlighted the deepness of the relations between Bangladesh and India, and mentioned that Bangladesh will host some important events from March 17-26.

A passenger train is likely to be made operational between Dhaka and New Jalpaiguri of India on March 26 as part of the celebrations of the Golden Jubilee of Bangladesh’s independence.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi are expected to flag off the train service.

The two leaders held a Summit in virtual format on December 17 last year and had comprehensive discussions on all aspects of bilateral relations, and exchanged views on regional and international issues.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina thanked her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi for accepting her invitation to visit Bangladesh in person in March 2021 to join the celebrations on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Bangladesh’s Independence and 50 years of Bangladesh-India diplomatic relations.

Source: United News of Bangladesh