President Ram Nath Kovind shall pay a State Visit from 15th to 17th December to Bangladesh to attend the 50th Victory Day celebrations of Bangladesh, Harsh Vardhan Shringla who is the Foreign Secretary sought to dispel the perception that there was any problem in the relationship.
He was replying to questions on possible problems due to the Citizenship Amendment Act and the latest violence in Bangladesh during Durga Puja.
“I think there is no unease. The relationship is an extraordinary one. It is not only a close relationship based on multifaceted ties, but also based on ties of history, culture, language and is bound by people-to-people ties,” Shringla stated on Tuesday.
Briefing reporters on the visit of the President, he stated that the President shall hold a delegation-level meeting with Abdul Hamid, who is the President of Bangladesh.
Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina and Foreign minister A K Abdul Momen is ready to call on him during his stay.
Earlier, Narendra Modi, Prime Minister had paid a State Visit to Bangladesh from 26th-27th March 2021 to join the celebrations of the golden jubilee of the independence of Bangladesh— “the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and 50 years of establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Bangladesh.”
This is the first visit of Kovind, President since the Covid pandemic.
“Bangladesh is a major pillar of India’s Neighbourhood First Policy. Both share progressive, comprehensive and substantial cooperation in diverse areas ranging from security, border management and defence, among others. Both have closely cooperated in addressing challenges during the Covid-19 pandemic,” the MEA stated.
“The upcoming visit of the President is a reflection of the high priority that both nations attach to the bilateral relationship. It also reaffirms the shared desire of both to further consolidate and strengthen the multifaceted and irreversible partnership,” it further added.
While questioned on the latest US sanctions against Bangladesh security officials, Shringla stated that “Our focus is really on our bilateral relationship, and we don’t comment on relations between third countries.”
Kovind, who leaves on Wednesday for Dhaka, shall go to the Martyr’s Memorial and the Bangabandhu Memorial on the same day to pay his respects. He shall be hosted by Hamid who is the Bangladesh President in the evening for a banquet.
He will be the chief guest at the Victory Day parade on 16th December where a 122 member Indian tri-services continent shall also participate. In the evening, he shall be hosted for a reception at the Parliament of Bangladesh.
He will also meet Bangladesh’s freedom fighters and a group of Indian veterans during his stay, who fought in the 1971 war. He will also interact with a cross-section of the society of Bangladesh, Indian community and even visit several sites of historical and cultural importance.