Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar last night said Bangladesh and India have many things to discuss to take the relationship between the two countries to a higher level.
“We have a very good relationship. We have a very strong relationship. We have many things to discuss about taking the relationship to a higher level,” he told reporters after arriving at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport.
Jaishankar, who arrived here on a three-day official visit, said he was truly delighted to be in Dhaka and was looking forward to having a “very productive day” today.
Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen received his Indian counterpart at the airport at 9:15pm, said a Bangladesh foreign ministry official. Indian High Commissioner in Dhaka Riva Ganguly Das was present, among others.
Though Momen described Jaishankar’s maiden visit (as minister) to Bangladesh as a “courtesy trip”, the two sides are likely to discuss matters relating to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s upcoming visit to India, connectivity, water issues and Rohingya crisis.
The Indian High Commission in Dhaka said Jaishankar was visiting Bangladesh to take forward the high-level exchanges between the two countries.
The Indian minister will visit Bangabandhu Memorial Museum on Dhanmondi Road-32 around 9:30am today and pay tributes to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman by placing wreaths at his portrait there, an official told UNB.
He will have a bilateral meeting with Momen around 11:00am. There will be a media briefing at noon following the meeting at the State Guesthouse Jamuna.
Momen will host a lunch in honour of his Indian counterpart after the meeting.
Jaishankar is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at the Gono Bhaban around 5:00pm today.
In the evening, Indian High Commissioner in Dhaka will host a private dinner for the visiting minister.
He will leave Dhaka for Kathmandu tomorrow morning.
India is a leading development partner of Bangladesh as it has extended concessional lines of credit (LOC) of around $8 billion.
Foreign Minister Momen said he would discuss the LOC projects, expenditure and barriers to implementation of those projects, if any.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will visit India in October to discuss bilateral issues, including the ones related to common rivers.
She will attend the India Economic Summit of the World Economic Forum with the theme “Innovating for India: Strengthening South Asia, Impacting the World”, to be held in New Delhi on October 3-4, a diplomatic source told UNB.