External affairs minister S Jaishankar will visit Dhaka tomorrow at the invitation of his Bangladesh counterpart A K Abdul Momen, it was officially announced here today.
During the visit, Jaishankar will hold extensive talks with Momen and also call on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
“The visit of the external affairs minister to Bangladesh follows the virtual summit held between the Prime Ministers of the two countries on 17 December and will also provide an opportunity to the two sides to take stock of the progress in bilateral relations, the ministry of external affairs said. During his visit, Jaishankar will do the groundwork for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s trip to Bangladesh later this month.
It is learnt that among other events, Modi will take part in a function on 26 March to mark the birth centenary of Bangladesh’s Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the golden jubilee of the country’s independence and 50 years of the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Bangladesh.
A number of key accords are expected to be signed between the two countries during Modi’s visit, including those on energy and communication. Relations between India and Bangladesh have witnessed an unprecedented upswing over the last few years.
Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, Modi and Sheikh Hasina had a virtual summit i during which they pledged to further consolidate bilateral ties and jointly tackle the challenge posed by the pandemic. The Bangladesh prime minister had also paid rich tributes to the Indian armed forces and thanked India for the liberation of her country from Pakistan in 1971.
India has gifted nearly two million doses of the Covishield vaccine produced by the Serum Institute of India (SII) to Bangladesh. Lately, Bangladesh has again been nudging India to quickly settle the Teesta water-sharing issue in the larger interest of the bilateral relations.
However, the Modi government has clearly told Dhaka that the water-sharing deal could only be signed once there was domestic political consensus over it in India. West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee has still not given her approval to the proposed deal.