August 17, 2022, 8:14 am


Diplomatic correspondent

Published:
2021-12-07 20:40:52 BdST

No major differences of opinion on pending issues with Bangladesh: Shringla


Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla on Tuesday said there is no major difference in opinions regarding the pending bilateral issues between Bangladesh and India, which have been enjoying the ‘golden chapter’ of relationship.

“We discussed on the issues, but we found no major differences … there are only areas to take forward, we are looking forward how we can work on (to resolve the issues),” he told media after holding a bilateral meeting with his Bangladesh counterpart Masud Bin Momen in Dhaka.

The two foreign secretaries appeared in front of media together after 50-minute bilateral talks at the Foreign Service Academy in the capital.

“There are multi-dimensional issues (between Bangladesh and India) and we have discussed all the pending issues … it was a fruitful discussion,” Bangladesh Foreign Secretary Masud said.

“We also discussed on how we can make our border peaceful,” he added.

The Bangladesh foreign secretary said they also discussed on connectivity, green energy, green technology, e-commerce and how both the countries can go forward.

About the Covid cooperation, the foreign secretary said both the sides reiterated that it would continue as “Bangladesh cannot be safe if India is not safe and also India cannot be safe if Bangladesh is not safe”.

Indian foreign secretary arrived here this morning on a two-day official visit to discuss bilateral issues and also to help preparing the state visit of Indian President Ram Nath Kovind here from December 15 to 17.

Shringla said people of both India and Bangladesh sacrificed their lives, their blood for the independence of Bangladesh. “This is very rare. We are proud of your victory, we are proud to be part of your celebration,” he added.

He said Indian Prime Minister Modi visited here in March last and the Indian president is scheduled to be here this month and it will make a record that Indian president and premier visited the same country in the same year.

Besides, Shringla said, both the Indian prime minister and the president choose Bangladesh for their first destination to visit after Covid stalemate which illustrates the golden chapter of relationship that the two neighbours have been passing through.

About the bilateral meeting, he said, they also discussed on some forward-looking areas like green energy, renewable energy and other sectors involving the employment opportunity for the youth generation of both the countries.

Shringla said the connectivity projects between the two countries are going on very well as five out of the six rail connections have already been restored and the sixth one will be completed by this year.

He said India wants to promote eco-friendly railway and waterway connectivity with Bangladesh.

The Indian foreign secretary lauded Bangladesh’s economic success and said it is something that India is very proud of. “We are proud of being your development partner and from that perspective, we will be holding more conversations,” he added.

The Indian foreign secretary is scheduled to call on Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina tomorrow and call on foreign minister Dr AK Abdul Momen and Road Transport and Bridges Minister and Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader.

Noting that he will call on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina tomorrow, he said India certainly looks forward to high level relationship and a summit in December.

The Indian foreign secretary said New Delhi and Dhaka is working on making Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to India in the earliest considering the Covid situation, as she was invited by Narendra Modi in March last.

The Indian foreign secretary arrived here just a day after both the countries celebrated 'Maitri Diwas' (Friendship Day) in 18 other cities worldwide including Dhaka and New Delhi as testimony to the unique foundation of friendship over the past 50 years.

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