BSS-47 HASINA-MODI-STATEMENT-3 LAST DELHI

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BSS-47

HASINA-MODI-STATEMENT-3 LAST DELHI

The two premiers reaffirmed their commitment to work closely in the UN and other multilateral organisations. They also reaffirmed their commitment to work together particularly in the international arena, to call upon developed countries to fulfill their commitments on the means of implementation as enshrined in the Agenda 2030.

Both the leaders agreed that regional and sub-regional cooperation is a priority area for the two countries. Towards this goal, they agreed to streamline the activities of BIMSTEC to make it an effective vehicle for sub-regional cooperation to achieve the aim of collective prosperity of all member countries.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi accepted an invitation from his Bangladesh counterpart to pay a visit to Bangladesh and it was agreed that the dates of the visit would be finalized through diplomatic channel.

During the bilateral meeting, the two leaders expressed satisfaction at the excellent state of bilateral relations, which are based on deep historical and fraternal ties, which reflect an all-encompassing bilateral partnership based on sovereignty, equality, trust and understanding that transcends a strategic partnership.

Both Prime Ministers agreed to fully utilize various opportunities for advancing mutually beneficial partnership in both conventional and non-conventional areas, and to ensure that this irreversible partnership enhances the legacy that started with the Great War of Liberation of Bangladesh.

Indian Prime Minister Modi also reaffirmed India’s full support to the realization of Sheikh Hasina’s vision of ensuring a prosperous, peaceful and developed Bangladesh.

The joint statement said the both sides emphasized simplifying people-people movement between the two countries. Sheikh Hasina thanked Modi for India’s commitment to simplify travel requirements, for Bangladesh nationals traveling by road or rail to India, and asked that in the spirit of reciprocity, all restrictions be lifted for Bangladeshi travelers using existing land ports.

The two sides agreed that the remaining restrictions on entry/ exit from land ports in India for citizens of Bangladesh travelling on valid documents would be removed in a phased manner, beginning with checkpoints at Akhaura (Tripura) and Ghojadanga (West Bengal).

Welcoming Bangladesh’s imminent graduation out of LDC status, India extended Bangladesh its warm felicitations. In this context, both sides agreed to expedite commissioning of the Joint Study on the prospects of entering into a bilateral Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between India and Bangladesh.

Both sides recognized that increasing connectivity through air, water, rail, road offers mutually beneficial opportunity for enhancing economic cooperation between Bangladesh and the North Eastern States of India and beyond.

Both Leaders expressed satisfaction at the discussions in August 2019 in Dhaka between the Secretaries of Water Resources of both the countries and the subsequent formation of the Joint Technical Committee as well as formulation of the Terms of Reference to conduct the Feasibility Study of the proposed Ganges-Padma Barrage Project in Bangladesh for optimum utilization of the water received by Bangladesh as per Ganges Water Sharing Treaty 1996.

Both Leaders recognised the immense potential of cooperation between the two countries in railways sector. They noted with satisfaction the constructive discussions between the Railways Ministers of the two countries in August 2019.

Both Leaders emphasized the need to enhance people-people connectivity. As a step forward, both Prime Ministers welcomed the increase in the frequency of Maitree Express from 4 to 5 times per week and that of Bandhan Express from 1 to 2 per week.

Hasina and Modi directed the concerned officials to expedite the completion of modalities for provision of railway rolling stock supplies by India to Bangladesh, and on modernization of the Saidpur workshop in Bangladesh.

Sheikh Hasina thanked Prime Minister Modi for considering the supply of a number of broad-gauge and meter-gauge locomotives to Bangladesh, on a grant basis. This would help in enhancing trade between both the countries.

The two Leaders welcomed the decision to enhance the capacity entitlement in air services from existing 61 services per week to 91 services per week with effect from Summer 2019 schedule, and further to 120 services per week with effect from Winter 2020 schedule.

Both leaders also agreed to expedite work towards drawing upon a US$ 500 mn Defence Line of Credit extended by India to Bangladesh, for which implementation arrangements have been finalized in April 2019.

The two Prime Ministers expressed satisfaction over progress made in the utilization of the three Lines of Credit and directed the officials of both sides to expedite implementation of the projects initiated under these LoCs.

Both Leaders emphasized the need for greater cooperation to commemorate the two important anniversary years: Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Birth Centenary in 2020; and 50 years of Bangladesh’s War of Liberation, and the establishment of India-Bangladesh bilateral diplomatic ties in year 2021.

To commemorate these two historic years, both Leaders also agreed to enhance cultural interactions between both the countries. The Bangladesh Prime Minister thanked the Indian Prime Minister for a proposal to organize a Festival of India in Bangladesh at a mutually convenient period during 2019-2020.

Both Prime Ministers directed the officials to expedite the work towards agreement between NFDC and BFDC for co-production of feature film on Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, in time for the celebrations of his birth centenary in 2020.

BSS/ASG/AHJ/GM/TAN/MMA/2139hrs