With its foreign minister AK Abdul Momen arriving in New Delhi on Wednesday night to attend the 5th India-Bangladesh Joint Consultative Commission (JCC) meeting on 8 February, Bangladesh is all set to seek more Indian support to resolve the Rohingya crisis.
Momen is coming to India on his maiden overseas tour after the Awami League government came to power in Bangladesh in December 2018 for the third consecutive term.
“Among other things, we want to consult with my counterpart about the early resolution of the Rohingya crisis as it may affect the regional stability,” news agency Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha quoted the foreign minister as saying.
Momen said he expected enhanced Indian support in resolving the Rohingya crisis.
Bangladesh has on humanitarian ground given temporary shelter to nearly 1 million Rohingya refugees who fled Myanmar in August 2017 to evade a brutal military crackdown.
“I am visiting India on my maiden foreign tour to honour our great neighbour, the world’s greatest democracy,” the minister said.
Momen acknowledged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the first foreign leader to greet his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina after the December 30 election results were announced. “We always found them beside us in our crises,” he said, adding: “…we now enjoy the warmest ever relations.”
India and Bangladesh are likely to ink five memoranda of understanding (MoUs) during the JCC meeting.
“The two sides so far agreed to sign three MoUs and they could reach a consensus on another two by tomorrow,” an official of the Bangladesh High Commission in Delhi told BSS.
Quoting sources, the report said three MoUs involved cooperation in graft investigations while the other two pertained to TV broadcasting and medicinal plants.
Momen will be leading a high-level delegation comprising secretaries of different ministries and chiefs of the departments concerning the JCC. The Indian side will be led by Union Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj.
The meeting is also likely to discuss trade and investment, security cooperation, connectivity, border management, defence cooperation, energy, shipping, and people-to-people exchanges.
Momen is scheduled to call on Modi on Thursday morning.
Momen is also scheduled to call on Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday morning. His itinerary also included a meeting for former President Pranab Mukherjee at the latter’s New Delhi residence and a lunch to be hosted by Swaraj in his honour on Friday.
Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri will host a dinner for Momen on Thursday, while the Bangladesh High Commission in New Delhi will host a dinner on Friday. The delegation will return to Dhaka on Saturday morning.
The last JCC meet was held in Dhaka in October 2017 when Sushma Swaraj led the Indian delegation.