Dhaka Bureau Policy Times : Bangladesh has invited Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to visit here in person on March 26 to join the nation’s celebration of the 50 years of the independence.
“We’ve invited him (Narendra Modi) and they accepted the invitation in principle,” Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen told newsmen after his maiden meeting with newly appointed Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Vikram Doraiswami at State Guest house Padma in the capital 18 October Sunday at Dhaka.
The foreign minister said the Indian premier was scheduled to visit this year to join birth centenary celebration of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman but the trip was cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic. He said Bangladesh and India will celebrate Bangladesh’s 50 years of independence together next year and expected that the Indian premier will join the opening of the celebration.
“Our victory is India’s victory. We should celebrate together,” Momen said.
There will be a virtual meeting between Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi in December. “The date is yet to be fixed … it will be likely to be held either on December 16 or 17,” he said.
About the first meeting with the newly appointed Indian envoy, the foreign minister said they had a very good discussion as the new Indian High Commissioner understands the sensitivity of Bangladesh.
“He (envoy) knows the issues we (Bangladesh-India) have,” Momen said.
The foreign minister said he put emphasis on smooth implementation of the projects under the Indian Line of Credit (LoC) while Doraiswami assured that he will work on that. The two sides also discussed issues relating to border killing. “He (envoy) told me that there are sincere efforts (from Indian side) to stop border killing,” Momen said.
He termed the existing Bangladesh-India relation very good while the two countries have already set an instance in the world by resolving bilateral issues peacefully through dialogue and discussions. Referring to fixing land and maritime boundaries with India and Myanmar, Momen said Bangladesh is coming up with a global example by resolving disputes peacefully with its neighbors.
“This shows the maturity of leadership,” he added.
The foreign minister said he urged India to open its land boundaries for Bangladeshi nationals as like as restoring air connectivity under the ‘air bubble’, scheduled to be started from October 28. Momen also proposed India to make the two-kilometer long ‘Independence Road’ along the Bangladesh-India frontier at Mujibnagar in Meherpur district free for movement.
The foreign minister said that Indian tourists can easily visit the historic Mujibnagar, where the exiled Bangladesh government took oath during the country’s Great War of Liberation in 1971, if the Independence Road is made free for movement. Both the sides also discussed the follow up issues of the 6th Joint Consultative Commission (JCC) meeting that was held virtually between the foreign ministers of Bangladesh and India last month.
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