India, Bangladesh made good progress in bilateral ties: S Jaishankar

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Dhaka [Bangladesh], April 28 (ANI): External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar on Thursday said despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, both India and Bangladesh have remained regularly in touch with each other in boosting bilateral ties.

Addressing the Joint Press Interaction in Dhaka, Jaishankar said: “My visit today, is aimed at continuing the progress in deepening our engagement. It is in keeping with the strength and spirit of our bilateral ties. As neighbours, the regularity and the informality and the cordiality of our interaction is a very good reflection of trust and confidence.
He also informed that he had the privilege to call on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today afternoon and conveyed the greetings and good wishes of PM Modi.

“We discussed a number of issues. We reviewed bilateral ties as well as regional and global issues,” he said.

Speaking on the 7th round of the Joint Consultative Commission, Jaishankar said that India is looking forward to welcoming Bangladesh counterpart AK Abdul Momen.

“This meeting will provide a good opportunity to lay the ground for the next level of our relationship which we hope would be underlined when the Prime Minister visits India,” he said.

In view of our strong people-to-people connect, the External Affairs Minister noted that the connectivity between India and Bangladesh is back to pre-Covid levels. “we are looking at resuming cross-border bus and railway services, shortly after Eid.”

“I am also very encouraged to see that decisions taken by our leaders last year to commemorate Maitree Diwas in 18 capitals apart from Dhaka and New Delhi, the establishment of the first Bangabandhu Chair in India, the Suborno Jayanti Scholarships for students from Bangladesh, and the Bangabandhu-Bapu Digital Exhibition have all been implemented. These are all in keeping with the spirit of solidarity between us which we hope to pass on to the younger generations,” Jaishankar said further in the statement.

The External Affairs Minister also expressed satisfaction that the trade, disbursement of loans on bilateral projects, travel services and investment are at new heights and they have recovered the momentum which was lost during the COVID-19.

He asserted that India also looks forward to stronger sub-regional cooperation in connectivity and other areas.

“The energy sector, particularly the hydropower domain, offers opportunities for mutually beneficial cooperation between our countries in the region. India is a large producer and consumer of energy and we are very glad to work with our neighbours in that regard, including in the BBIN framework. And I want to say that India will continue to take the lead to structure progressive partnerships for production, transmission and trade in our region in this area,” he said. (ANI)

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