Bangladesh invites Chief Ministers of India's northeastern States

There are several projects concerning the northeast that need to be discussed, says Bangladesh Foreign Minister

September 10, 2022 09:09 pm | Updated 09:09 pm IST - DHAKA

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Bangladesh, Shahriar Alam. File.

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Bangladesh, Shahriar Alam. File. | Photo Credit: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

Bangladesh has invited the Chief Ministers of all the north-eastern States of India for an early visit, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam said here on Saturday. Speaking at a media event organised by the Editors Guild of Bangladesh, Mr. Alam said that there are several projects concerning the northeast that were discussed during the just concluded visit of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to India, adding that both sides are determined to take the relationship to the "second phase".

"We requested the Indian Minister of Development of North Eastern Region G. Kishan Reddy to visit Bangladesh along with all the Chief Ministers of the northeast when they can also be accompanied by high profile officials and business representatives," said Mr. Alam. The Minister said several initiatives were put forth by Mr. Reddy in course of the bilateral talks during PM Hasina's visit to Delhi and that Ms. Hasina has given her consent to implement some of these schemes.

The invite to the north-eastern Chief Ministers was extended two months after the Foreign Minister of Bangladesh Dr. A.K. Abdul Momen had invited the Chief Minister of Assam Himanta Biswa Sarma, who in the past had spoken openly about an alleged influx of Bangladesh nationals into Assam. These comments attracted attention expectedly among the media and policymakers in Bangladesh who also took note of Mr. Sarma's recognition of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's role in suppressing the militant organisations of the northeast that used to have safe havens inside Bangladesh.

"During that visit, we can engage Chief Ministers of Meghalaya and Assam who sometimes have commented about Bangladesh before the election. When our Foreign Minister had travelled to Assam three months earlier, he (Mr. Sarma) had said, that it is because of Sheikh Hasina that Assam is peaceful today. In that context, we have to see under what circumstances these comments are made so that confusion is avoided in relation," said Mr. Alam.

The Minister said that the Prime Minister of Bangladesh appreciated the ideas that were proposed by Mr. Reddy during the bilateral talks in Delhi, and that the Indian side is expected to process Dhaka's invite for the Chief Ministers of the northeastern States.

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