Neighbourhood First: For his maiden overseas visit as the new foreign minister of Bangladesh, Momen arrives in India

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New Delhi | Published: February 6, 2019 8:07:29 PM

Bangladesh High Commission in New Delhi will host a dinner on Friday in honour of the visiting minister and his delegation. Wrapping up his three-day visit, the Bangladesh foreign minister will leave New Delhi for Dhaka on Saturday morning.

Bangladesh High Commission in New Delhi will host a dinner on Friday in honour of the visiting minister and his delegation. Wrapping up his three-day visit, the Bangladesh foreign minister will leave New Delhi for Dhaka on Saturday morning. (IE)

Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen had arrived in New Delhi on Wednesday on his maiden overseas trip to attend the 5th India-Bangladesh Joint Consultative Commission (JCC) meeting.

Ahead of the JCC scheduled for Friday, the visiting minister accompanied by a high-level delegation will meet the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday. Prime Minister Modi was the first foreign leader to greet Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina soon after the December 30 election results were announced.

During the JCC meeting, the entire gamut of bilateral relations ranging from trade and investment, security cooperation, connectivity, border management, defence cooperation, energy, shipping, and people-to-people exchanges are expected to come up for discussion.

In an effort to improve connectivity in the northeastern region (NER) and enhancing trade with Bangladesh, the two countries recently agreed to consider inclusion of Rupnarayan River from Geonkhali to Kolaghat in the protocol route and to declare Kolaghat as a new port of call.

For the movement of construction materials including fly-ash, and cement from India to Bangladesh through inland water transportation (IWT) on Rupnarayan river, Chilmari has been designated as a port of call in Bangladesh.

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On the reciprocal basis, the two sides have agreed to declare Badarpur on river Barak as an Extended Port of Call of Karimganj in Assam and Ghorasal of Ashuganj in Bangladesh.

At the end of JCC, at least five agreements are expected to be inked including in TV broadcasting and medicinal plants. India’s Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Bangladesh’s Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) are likely to sign a MoU, there could be agreements between state-run Bangladesh Television (BTV) and Prasar Bharti and Ministry of Health from both countries would sign an agreement too.

Also, besides discussing regional issues of mutual interest with the leaders, the visiting minister is expected to seek increased support from India to resolve the Rohingya crisis. According to reports, Bangladesh has been asking for an early resolution of the Rohingya crisis as it is worried it would expose the country and the neighbourhood to threats of radicalisation.

He will also meet former president Pranab Mukherjee at the latter’s residence. The last JCC meet was held in Dhaka on Oct 22-23, 2017 when Swaraj led the Indian delegation.

Bangladesh High Commission in New Delhi will host a dinner on Friday in honour of the visiting minister and his delegation. Wrapping up his three-day visit, the Bangladesh foreign minister will leave New Delhi for Dhaka on Saturday morning.

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