Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s expected visit to Bangladesh later this month, External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar will pay an official visit to Dhaka on March 4 at the invitation of his counterpart Dr A K Abdul Momen.¬†He will also hold talks with Momen.

According to a statement by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Jaishankar will meet his counterpart and will also call on Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina during the day-long trip.

The EAM’s visit to Bangladesh follows the Prime Minister-level Virtual Summit held between two countries on December 17, 2020 and will also provide an opportunity to take stock of the progress in bilateral relations.

Sheikh Hasina, in conversation with PM Narendra Modi during the virtual summit in January, said that India is the country’s true friend for its support during the 1971 Bangladesh liberation war.

During the virtual summit with Hasina Narendra Modi described Bangladesh as an important pillar of India’s, ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy.

Both sides had also reiterated their strong commitment to eliminating terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.

The two sides signed seven agreements at the summit – from hydrocarbons to agriculture.

They also revived a cross-border railway line that was snapped 55 years ago, giving a boost to connectivity initiatives and energy cooperation.

Bangladesh foreign secretary Masud Bin Momen visited India in January this year, for foreign office consultations and India has provided two million doses of the Covishield vaccine to Bangladesh under the ‘Vaccine Maitri’ initiative.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to visit Bangladesh to participate in celebrations on March 26 marking 50 years of the country’s independence and the establishment of diplomatic relations.

This will be his first foreign visit since the COVID-19 outbreak. Modi was earlier scheduled to visit Dhaka in March last year, but the trip was called off because of the pandemic.

What is expected out of Jaishankar-Momen talks?

Jaishankar’s talks with Momen are expected to review bilateral ties and focus on regional and international developments.

Both the leaders are also expected to talk about the situation in Myanmar following the February 1 military coup.

They are both likely to discuss the Myanmar coup impact on efforts to repatriate Rohingya refugees to Rakhine state.

Both countries are working on several connectivity and transit projects.

It will help provide an opportunity to take stock of the progress in bilateral relations.

(With Inputs from ANI)

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