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Indian foreign secy due in Dhaka April 20

Published : 17 Apr 2024 10:32 PM

Indian Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra is likely to pay an official visit to Bangladesh on Saturday to discuss and review the entire gamut of bilateral relationship between the two countries.

Apart from his bilateral talks with his Bangladesh counterpart Masud Bin Momen, the Indian foreign secretary is due to meet Foreign Minister Hasan Mahmud, a diplomatic source told UNB.

However, details of his visit are yet to be known.

The government of India in March extended Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra's tenure by six months. Kwatra assumed charge as India’s foreign secretary on 1 May, 2022 and joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1988.

Bangladesh-India Foreign Office Consultations (FOC) were held in New Delhi on 24 November 2023.

FOC is an institutional dialogue mechanism between the two foreign secretaries to review the entire gamut of bilateral relationship.

Both sides in bilateral forums usually discuss comprehensively a wide range of issues covering border and security, trade, commerce and connectivity, cooperation in water, power and energy sectors, people to people ties and development cooperation in Bangladesh.

Diplomatic sources indicate that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's visit to India is planned after the conclusion of the neighbouring country’s national election, which is the world's largest democratic exercise, spanning seven phases from April 19 to June 

1, with the vote count set for June 4.

Pre-election surveys suggest a strong showing for the coalition led by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is widely anticipated to secure re-election.

"Prime Minister's (Sheikh Hasina) India visit will definitely take place. However, it will take place after the election in India," FM Hasan said recently.

He said it is not yet discussed at the official level when the visit will exactly take place.

In January, Modi extended warm congratulations to PM Hasina on her electoral victory, expressing hopes for the continued strengthening of the historically close ties between India and Bangladesh.

The last bilateral engagement between the two prime ministers occurred during the G-20 Leaders Summit in September 2023, where Bangladesh was the guest country.

PM Modi is expected to extend invitations to South Asian and BIMSTEC country leaders for his swearing-in ceremony, fostering regional cooperation.