Update August 18, 2020

Dhaka 4-22 pm, 30-September, 2020

Indian Foreign Secretary Shringla in city carrying PM Modi’s message

Mirajul Moin Joy

Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla arrived in Dhaka on a two-day visit on Tuesday carrying a message from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Foreign Secretary Shringla is on a visit to Dhaka to discuss and take forward the matters of mutual interest and cooperation, said the Indian High Commission in Dhaka soon after his arrival.

Shringla will meet Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her official residence and hand over the message he is carrying from Prime Minister Modi, a senior official told UNB.

The meeting is scheduled to take place at 3pm on Tuesday.

They are expected to discuss ways to strengthen the ties between the two neighbouring countries apart from issues related to cooperation on COVID-19 front.

Shringla is likely to go to Yangon from Dhaka or via Kolkata before returning to Delhi, a diplomatic source told UNB.

Asked about the sudden visit, the official told UNB that it is something positive but he did not elaborate.

The Indian Foreign Secretary will hold a bilateral meeting with his Bangladesh counterpart Masud Bin Momen on Wednesday.

The two sides will discuss issues of mutual interest, including coronavirus situation, the Bangladesh Foreign Secretary told reporters.

Shringla, who had served as Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh, assumed office of the Indian Foreign Secretary in January this year.

As the Foreign Secretary, he first visited Dhaka in March this year.

He met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina during his last visit to Bangladesh.

There has been a gap of bilateral visit between the two countries over the last few months due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

But the two countries were connected virtually and held a number of important discussions on various issues of mutual interest.

India has recently described its relations with Bangladesh as “exceptionally close” but expressed displeasure over “mischievous” story pertaining to Bangladesh-India ties.

“We’re confident that both sides appreciate mutual sensitivity and mutual respect building further on the relationship,” said Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava at a virtual weekly media briefing in New Delhi recently.

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen termed the Bangladesh-India relations a ‘blood relationship’ while Bangladesh-China relations an ‘economic tie’.

Referring to Indian External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar’s recent remarks, the MEA Spokesperson said India’s relationship with Bangladesh is a role model of good neighbourly relations in the region.

On August 14, Bangladesh’s Deputy High Commission in Kolkata condemned the disinformation campaign targeting Bangladesh by several web portals based in India’s northeastern region.

The Deputy High Commission also urged all concerned to disregard the false information peddled.

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