Modi, Hasina to talk over virtual summit in December

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Reiterating their commitment to fighting terrorism together, India and Bangladesh have agreed to ensure for the speedy return of Rohingyas to Myanmar.

The two sides also decided on holding a virtual Prime Minister level Summit in December.

Attending the sixth meeting of the India-Bangladesh Joint Consultative Commission (JCC) on Tuesday, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his Bangladesh counterpart AK Abdul Momen reiterated that the importance of the safe, speedy and sustainable return to Myanmar of the forcibly displaced persons from the Rakhine State of Myanmar, currently being sheltered by Bangladesh.

“Unless the problem is resolved quickly, there are possibilities of pockets of radicalism disrupting economic growth, peace and stability in the region and requesting India’s leverage, to address the crisis,” said Bangladesh Foreign Minister.

The two Ministers reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral relations and expressed satisfaction over significant progress in the implementation of various decisions taken during the fifth JCC meeting held in New Delhi last year.

Recalling that the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Bangladesh in March this year had to be postponed due to the sudden onset of COVID-19, the two sides hoped that the visit could be rescheduled, coinciding with the commencement of the 50th-anniversary celebrations of Bangladesh’s independence as well as the establishment of diplomatic relations between Bangladesh and India.

Reiterating the commitment of India to prioritize the supply of COVID-19 vaccines, Jaishankar emphasized the importance of Bangladesh in India’s ‘Neighborhood First’ policy.

The Ministers directed their officials to expedite the exchange of required information regarding Phase-III testing, vaccine distribution, co-production and delivery in Bangladesh.

Both sides also discussed progress on making the biopic on Bangladesh’s Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, under the direction of Indian film director Shyam Benegal.

Simultaneously, they also stressed the need to start work on the Liberation War documentary, for which Bangladesh side informed that the process for selecting a director from Bangladesh will be completed soon.

Highlighting the interdependency in the jute sector between both countries, Bangladesh Foreign Minister urged Jaishankar to address the long pending issues of anti-dumping and anti-circumvention duties imposed on export of jute products and certain other exports from Bangladesh to India.

The Indian side reiterated that anti-dumping investigations are carried out by the Directorate General of Trade Remedies through quasi-judicial proceedings and assured facilitation once the formal application is filed.

Both sides agreed to hold consultations at an early date to look into various aspects of the imposition.

The Bangladesh Foreign Minister also requested Jaishankar to extend uniform treatment to Bangladeshi investors under the FDI Policy of India so that they can invest under the automatic route.

It was agreed to expedite implementation of projects including India Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline, Maitree Super Thermal Power Project as well as other projects.

The two Ministers reiterated their commitment to the finalization of the Interim Agreement for sharing of the waters of the Teesta.

They also underscored the need for early conclusion of Framework of Interim Agreement on sharing of waters of six other joint rivers, namely, Manu, Muhuri, Khowai, Gumti, Dharla and Dudh Kumar.

In this regard, the two Ministers recalled the positive contribution of the Joint Rivers Commission mechanism in resolving issues related to the common rivers and urged the concerned authorities to consider convening the Ministerial level JRC meeting between the two countries.

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