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PM Sheikh Hasina’s possible visit to India, officials said

In an effort to give further impetus to Dhaka-Delhi relations, the two neighboring countries are now planning to have enhanced engagement ahead of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to India at a convenient time this year, officials said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already extended an invitation to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to visit India in 2022 in commemoration of the Golden Jubilee of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, said an official.

Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen is scheduled to leave here on Wednesday for India and the two sides are likely to begin the discussion during his engagements in New Delhi, reports UNB.

The Foreign Secretary will first go to Chennai from where he will head towards New Delhi.

In Chennai, Masud Momen will see the progress of the work as Bangladesh Deputy High Commission is getting operationalised.

The Foreign Secretary is scheduled to hold bilateral talks with his Indian counterpart Harsh Vardhan Shringla on February 24.

Masud Momen is likely to meet Indian External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar but it depends on availability of the Indian Minister, said an official.

The two countries witnessed momentum in their relations last year with a series of engagements including high-level visits.

At the invitation of President Abdul Hamid, Indian President Ram Nath Kovind paid a State visit to Bangladesh from December 15 to 17 last year to attend the 50th Victory Day celebrations here as the guest of honour.

It was the Indian President’s maiden visit to Bangladesh and also his first visit overseas since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Earlier, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had paid a landmark visit to Bangladesh on March 26 and 27 last year and those visits were of “historical significance” given the 50th anniversary of the shared sacrifices of the people of the two countries during Bangladesh’s struggle for Liberation in 1971.

Since the Indian President and the  Prime Minister visited Bangladesh last year, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina might visit India at a convenient time this year, said an official.

The two countries will continue discussion on the agenda as the visit is unlikely before September, officials said.

Connectivity, trade, energy cooperation, common rivers’ water sharing are some of the main issues that would be discussed during the PM’s visit.