• Wednesday, February 28, 2024

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FS Kwatra calls on PM Hasina, reaffirms India’s support for deeper economic partnership with Bangladesh

This is Kwatra’s maiden visit to Bangladesh.

Vinay Kwatra (L) with Sheikh Hasina in Dhaka. (Photo: Twitter/@ihcdhaka)

By: Pramod Thomas

Foreign secretary Vinay Kwatra on Wednesday (15) called on Bangladesh’s prime minister Sheikh Hasina during which he reaffirmed India’s support for wider and deeper development and economic partnership with her country.

Kwatra arrived in Dhaka on Tuesday (14) evening from Kathmandu, Nepal, on a two-day visit.

“Foreign Secretary @AmbVMKwatra paid a courtesy call on Hon’ble Prime Minister H.E Sheikh Hasina in Dhaka. FS conveyed warm wishes of PM @narendramodi to PM H.E Sheikh Hasina and reaffirmed India’s support for wider and deeper development & economic partnership with Bangladesh,” the Indian High Commission tweeted.

Earlier in the day, Kwatra held talks with his Bangladeshi counterpart Masud Bin Momen.

“Foreign Secretary @AmbVMKwatra held Foreign Office Consultations (FOCs) with @FSMasud of Bangladesh. Both sides reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral partnership including political, security, trade, investment, defence, connectivity, water, power and sub-regional cooperation,” the Indian mission tweeted.

“Foreign Secretaries of Bangladesh and India led their respective delegations at the Foreign Office Consultation held today at FSA ( Foreign Service Academy). Both the Foreign Secretaries call for deeper collaboration between the two friendly countries,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bangladesh, tweeted.

They also agreed to maintain close engagement in the context of Bangladesh’s participation as a Guest Country during India’s G20 Presidency.

Bangladesh foreign ministry officials ahead of the visit said Kwatra’s scheduled talks with his counterpart were a part of regular FOCs, but their meeting was expected to partly prepare grounds for Prime Minister Hasina’s visit to New Delhi.

This is Kwatra’s maiden visit to Bangladesh after assuming charge as the foreign secretary on May 1 last year.

The Ministry of External Affairs said the visit was fixed in line with the “highest priority” accorded under India’s “Neighbourhood First” policy.

Bangladesh is India’s topmost development partner and its largest trade partner in the region.

The visit will further strengthen bilateral ties and impart momentum to ongoing cooperation in diverse areas.

The last foreign office consultations were held on January 29, 2021, in New Delhi.

Hasina is expected to visit India in September to join the G-20 summit on an invitation by her Indian counterpart and incumbent chair of the grouping of larger economies, Narendra Modi.

Officials said despite being a non-member of the G-20, Hasina would join the summit as a guest.

According to tradition, the G-20 chair invites guest countries and international organisations such as the United Nations, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, World Health Organisation, and World Trade Organisation, beyond the member states, to the summit.

India assumed the G-20 presidency for one year from December this year.

The host country invited Bangladesh as the only country in South Asia to the summit to be held on September 9-10 while the other non-member countries to get the invitation are Egypt, Mauritius, Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Singapore, Spain, and the UAE.

The Bangladesh foreign minister is scheduled to attend the G20 foreign ministers’ meeting in New Delhi on March 1-2.

The G-20 is an intergovernmental forum of the world’s major developed and developing economies comprising 19 countries and the European Union (EU).

The G20 members represent around 85 per cent of the global GDP, over 75 per cent of the global trade, and about two-thirds of the world population.

The member countries include Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the UK, and the USA.

The Bangladesh visit of Kwatra comes after the foreign secretary on Tuesday returned from Kathmandu, where he had gone to strengthen bilateral ties between India and Nepal.

(PTI)

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