Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi vows to strengthen existing bilateral ties with Bangladesh
01:01 PM, February 07, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 06:53 PM, February 07, 2019

Modi vows to strengthen existing bilateral ties with Bangladesh

Gives assurance of India’s cooperation on Rohingya issue

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi today reaffirmed his country’s commitment to work with Bangladesh and build on the momentum of existing bilateral relationship.

He also gave assurance of India’s cooperation with Bangladesh on the issue of Rohingya repatriation.

Modi made the remarks when visiting Bangladesh Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen called on him at his official residence on Lok Kalyan Marg, our New Delhi correspondent reports.

During the meeting which began at 10:00am, the Indian prime minister mentioned that the partnership between Bangladesh and India “is flourishing under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina,” the Bangladesh High Commission in India said in a statement.

“While thanking Prime Minister Modi for India's humanitarian assistance to Rohingyas, the Bangladesh foreign minister requested India’s support for early repatriation of the Rohingyas to Rakhine State of Myanmar. Prime Minister Modi reiterated that India is always with Bangladesh and assured of India’s cooperation in this regard,” the statement also read.

Modi reaffirmed India’s sincere commitment to Bangladesh’s prosperity and development and viewed that Bangladesh-India relations “is a model between two neighbouring countries which needs to be showcased for wider audience around the world,” it added.

The Indian premier also congratulated Momen on his appointment as the foreign minister and appreciated his gesture of selecting India as the destination for his first visit, according to a statement issued by Modi’s office.

Foreign Minister Abdul Momen briefed the Indian premier on the recent developments in the bilateral relationship,” it added.

The Bangladesh High Commission statement also read that Momen conveyed to Modi the greetings of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her appreciation to Prime Minister Modi for extending congratulations upon the victory of Awami League in the Bangladesh parliamentary elections, held in December last, as the first foreign leader.

The foreign minister expressed his satisfaction at the “excellent relations” between the two countries which have grown and prospered, especially with the statesmanship of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Prime Minister Modi.”

Momen stressed Bangladesh would continue her resolve in further strengthening and deepening her relations with India in the coming days, said the statement.

He recalled that the two countries amicably resolved their longstanding problems, which is much appreciated by the respective peoples.

The visiting foreign minister recounted the “remarkable progress” Bangladesh has achieved during the last few years in the socio-economic sectors under the Awami League government led by Sheikh Hasina and elaborated on her road map to realise the dream of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to build Bangladesh as “Sonar Bangla”.

After the meeting with the Indian PM, Momen also called on former Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh and Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Anand Sharma. 

Manmohan Singh noted that early repatriation of Rohingyas is a priority and assured that they will be supporting the government of India in any initiative to expedite repatriation of Rohingyas, the Bangladesh High Commission’s statement said.

Manmohan hoped that both countries would be able to resolve the remaining outstanding bilateral issues including the Teesta river water-sharing soon.

 The visiting foreign minister conveyed greetings of Hasina to Manmohan and the two leaders expressed satisfaction at the excellent state of bilateral relations between Bangladesh and India.

Manmohan also conveyed congratulations to Hasina for being elected as the Prime Minister for the third consecutive term.

Abdul Momen is scheduled to meet the leader of the opposition in the Rajya Sabha and senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad and attend a lunch to be hosted by India’s Urban Development and Housing Minister Hardeep Singh Puri who was former Permanent Representative to the United Nations.

Momen, who went to India on his maiden official tour abroad as the Foreign Minister on Wednesday, is now in New Delhi to attend the 5th meeting of India-Bangladesh Joint Consultative Commission (JCC) tomorrow.

The JCC meeting, to be co-chaired by Momen and his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj, will review the entire gamut of bilateral relations.

After the JCC meeting, both sides are expected to sign five MoUs. Momen is expected to return Dhaka on Saturday.

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