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Jaishankar to visit Dhaka to discuss bilateral ties

The External Affairs Minister will review the status of all the issues and projects

The entire gamut of bilateral ties between India and Bangladesh will be discussed when External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar visits Dhaka between August 19 to 21, a diplomatic source said on Sunday.

“This is the first visit by the senior Minister, so the expectation on both sides is that he will review the status of all the issues and projects between two sides,” said a source familiar with the plans of the visit. The visit was announced by Bangladesh Foreign Minister A.K. Abdul Momen in July for which he had conveyed a formal invitation through Dhaka’s envoy in India.

Hasina’s visit

It was learnt that the External Affairs Minister is expected to firm up the schedule of the October visit of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to Delhi which will be her first during the second Prime Ministerial stint of Narendra Modi.

Dr. Jaishankar’s visit will be second high ministerial interaction between the two sides in less than a month. During his August 7-8 visit, Asaduzzaman Khan, Dhaka’s Minister of Interior, met with Minister of Home Affairs Amit Shah in Delhi for a one-on-one meeting on bilateral issues. The meeting, however, did not yield a joint statement, triggering speculations on mutual differences.

NRC in Assam

The meetings between the senior ministers are being viewed as important due to the upcoming publication of the National Register of Citizens in Assam which has drawn attention of the media in Dhaka. Diplomatic sources, however, said Bangladesh considers NRC to be an internal issue of India and therefore it is unlikely to raise the issue with Dr. Jaishankar.

The Indian Minister is expected to call on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and engage his counterpart Mr. Momen in official-level talks. India and Bangladesh have been in dialogue to seal the Teesta water agreement since 2011 though the final deal has remained elusive due to differences within India.

Rohingya issue

Ms. Hasina is also expected to take up the Rohingya issue that she discussed with Beijing during her July visit to China. Dhaka wants India to exert more pressure on the Government of Myanmar which is an emerging strategic partner of India in the Southeast Asian region.

Bangladesh ruling coalition member, Hasanul Haq Inu, had protested in July when India hosted Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, who is blamed for the Rohingya displacement that forced more than a million Rohingya to seek shelter in the Chittagong hills territory.

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Printable version | Jul 9, 2020 5:01:58 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/jaishankar-to-visit-dhaka-to-discuss-bilateral-ties/article29127160.ece

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