Bangladesh and India Hold Foreign Office Consultations
29 January 2021
The Governments of Bangladesh and India held their Foreign Office Consultations on 29 January 2021 in New Delhi, India. Mr. Harsh Vardhan Shringla, Foreign Secretary of the Government of India, and Mr. Masud Bin Momen, Foreign Secretary of the Government of Bangladesh, co-chaired the meeting. The meeting held a comprehensive review of progress achieved in their bilateral relationship in areas such as cooperation on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), trade, connectivity, development partnership, power, energy, and regional cooperation. Discussions also highlighted the forthcoming visit of India Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Dhaka, Bangladesh in March 2021.
The consultations committed to maintain the momentum gained by both countries in bilateral cooperation and in people to people relations. They spoke positively on the renewal of the Air Travel Bubble arrangement between Bangladesh and India, which will facilitate essential travel. A news report by United News of India remarked that Bangladesh has requested India for more opportunities to access Bhutan and Nepal through India’s roads and railways and land ports.
They also noted the outcomes of meetings held after the Virtual Summit by Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and India Prime Minister Narendra Modi held on 17 December 2020, including the Technical Level Meeting of the Joint Rivers Commission on 6 January 2021, the 19th Secretary-level Joint Steering Committee meeting on power sector cooperation on 23 January 2021, and the 2nd India-Bangladesh Consular Dialogue on 28 January 2021 in New Delhi. They agreed on further meetings, including the Commerce Secretary Level Talks and the Secretary Level Meeting of Joint Rivers Commission before the March 2021 Summit.
The consultations emphasized the importance of swift implementation of the Lines of Credit under the Bangladesh-India bilateral development partnership. They expressed satisfaction over the high-level development partnership monitoring mechanism that was recently made operational, and emphasized the need to increase utilization of funds and streamlining and expediting approval processes.