India, Bangladesh pledge ‘reciprocal support’ for UNSC non-permanent membership

Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra meets Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and conveys Modi’s message of ‘continued commitment to the bilateral relationship’

February 15, 2023 04:53 pm | Updated 11:48 pm IST - New Delhi

Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra with Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Photo: Twitter/@ihcdhaka

Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra with Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Photo: Twitter/@ihcdhaka

India and Bangladesh on Wednesday agreed to support each other’s non-permanent membership at the UN Security Council. Apart from multilateral engagements, the two sides held discussions on bilateral development projects, defence cooperation and security issues during the official visit of Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra to Dhaka. Mr. Kwatra met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and conveyed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s message of “continued commitment to the bilateral relationship, upholding Bangladesh as the pivot of India’s ‘Neighbourhood First Policy’ and a key partner of its ‘Act East Policy,’” the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a statement.

India’s 2021-’22 non-permanent membership at the UNSC ended last December and another stint is expected in 2028-’29. It is understood that internal discussion is underway in Dhaka for a possible non-permanent stint for Bangladesh at the UNSC during 2030-’31. The matter is however at an early stage and Bangladesh is expected to float this at multiple international venues in the coming months. The visit by Mr. Kwatra has come a fortnight before Dhaka’s Foreign Minister A.K. Abdul Momen arrives here to participate in the G-20 foreign ministers’ meeting.

Guest country

Bangladesh is a “guest country” at this year’s G-20 summit that is being organized under India’s presidency. “India looks to the active participation of Bangladesh as the Guest Country at various events during India’s presidency of G-20,” said the MEA in a statement issued after the conclusion of Mr. Kwatra’s visit.

Mr. Kwatra and his counterpart in Dhaka held Foreign Office consultations and held “wide-ranging discussions covering all aspects of the relationship.”

“Both sides agreed to further strengthen ongoing bilateral cooperation in diverse areas, including the Government of India-funded concessional Lines of Credit, trade and investment, connectivity, power and energy, defence and security, and people-to-people ties,” the MEA has stated.

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