Government Policy

Jaishankar to meet PM Hasina, hold talks with FM Thursday

Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar arrives here on Thursday afternoon as the two countries eye Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to New Delhi in July.

Jaishankar’s visit may be seen in the context of frequent bilateral high-level visits and exchanges between the two countries, said the Indian Ministry of External Affairs on Wednesday.

Both sides commemorate 50 years of the establishment of diplomatic ties.

The last visit by Jaishankar to Bangladesh was in March 2021.

During his brief official visit, he will meet with the prime minister at 4pm.

He will also hold discussions with Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen at the Foreign Service Academy at 5pm on Thursday, said an official.

Momen will also host an Iftar-cum-dinner in honor of his Indian counterpart.

The Indian external affairs minister is scheduled to land at BAF Base Bangabandhu at around 2:30m by a special flight of Indian Air Force.

He will visit Bhutan after wrapping up his Bangladesh visit.

What’s Good News?

Momen on Tuesday said his Indian counterpart Jaishankar might bring good news. “May be he’ll bring good news and we’re yet to know what that news is exactly.”

He said the relationship between Bangladesh and India is very sweet and they are very happy that Jaishankar is coming to Bangladesh. “We always welcome him. He’ll give us surprise.”

Jaishankar will be coming with the formal invitation for Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on behalf of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for an impending visit to Delhi – likely to be held in the first week of July, a diplomatic source told UNB on Sunday.

At the invitation of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Modi paid a State Visit to Bangladesh from 26 to 27 March 2021 to join the celebrations of the Golden Jubilee of the Independence of Bangladesh, the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and 50 years of establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Bangladesh.

At the invitation of President Abdul Hamid, Indian President Ram Nath Kovind paid a State visit to Bangladesh from December 15 to 17 last year to attend the 50th Victory Day celebrations here as the guest of honour.

It was the Indian President’s maiden visit to Bangladesh and also his first visit overseas since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The visits symbolised the partnership of half-a-century between India and Bangladesh that has strengthened, matured and evolved as a model for bilateral relations for the entire region.

In an effort to give further impetus to Dhaka-Delhi relations, the two neighboring countries are now planning to have enhanced engagement including preparation for Hasina’s visit to India at a convenient time this year, officials said.

Minister-Level Talks

Before the prime minister’s visit, the next round of Joint Consultative Commission (JCC) meeting will be held in New Delhi, most likely next month.

The JCC will be co-chaired by Foreign Minister Momen and his Indian counterpart Jaishankar and a date is likely to be finalized during the visit of the Indian external affairs minister.

Momen said there are some meetings that need to be held before the JCC.

Asked about the issues to be discussed in the next JCC, he said Bangladesh will raise all the outstanding issues in the meeting.

Asked about Teesta River water sharing and border killing issues, he said Bangladesh always raise these issues and will reiterate those.

The sixth meeting of the JCC was held on September 29, 2020. Although Dhaka was scheduled to host the meeting, due to the COVID-19 situation the meeting was held on virtual platform.