BSS-51 Modi’s upcoming Dhaka visit will feature BD-India FOC tomorrow

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ZCZC

BSS-51

(Updates with MEA statement)

INDIA-BANGLADESH-FOC

Modi’s upcoming Dhaka visit will feature BD-India FOC tomorrow

NEW DELHI, Jan 28, 2021 (BSS) – The upcoming visit of Indian
Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Bangladesh will be top of the agenda
during the Foreign Office Consultations (FOC) scheduled to be held
between the two countries tomorrow here.

“Preparation of PM visit will be discussed during the FOC…Indian
Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla and his Bangladesh
counterpart Masud Bin Momen will lead their respective sides to the
FOC,” said official spokesperson of Indian Ministry of External
Affairs (MEA) Anurag Srivastava here.

Prime Minister Modi is set to visit Bangladesh on March 26 to
join the 50th anniversary of Bangladesh’s Independence and 50 years of
Bangladesh-India diplomatic ties at the invitation of Prime Minister
Sheikh Hasina.

Responding to a query during a virtual media briefing here this
evening, he said comprehensive discussion ranging from cooperation in
the wake of Covid-19, border management, security issues, trade and
investment, connectivity, regional and multilateral issues will
feature the India-Bangladesh FOC.

“Both the sides will also discuss joint activities to be held
throughout the year as the two countries celebrate 50 years of their
diplomatic ties. Preparations for the upcoming visit of the PM to
Bangladesh will also be discussed,” he added.

In this connection, the spokesperson said Bangladesh is one of
the key pillars of India’s ‘Neighborhood First’ Policy and both the
countries have comprehensive cooperation through more than 60
bilateral mechanisms.

However, Bangladesh mission sources told BSS that entire gamut of
bilateral issues including water sharing, border management and issues
relating to Rohingya cooperation will be discussed in the FOC along
with follow up the joint declaration made after the virtual summit of
the two prime ministers last month.

When asked about the outcome of the 2nd round of Bangladesh-India
Consular Dialogue held here today, the MEA spokesperson said that
entire gamut of consular issues were discussed during the meeting.

The discussion included finalisation of Standard Operating
Procedures (SOPs) for consular access, verification of nationality and
release of detainees, particularly early release of detained
fishermen, he said.

“ It was agreed that implementation of provisions under the
Revised Travel Arrangements (2018) relating to tourist, student and
business visas and further liberalization of visa formalities and
entry and exit norms would further enhance ease of travel,” said a MEA
statement issued here after the dialogue. .

It said that both the sides reiterated their commitment to
continue to work towards citizen-centric consular mechanisms

Sanjay Bhattacharyya, Secretary (CPV & OIA) led the Indian
delegation while the delegation from Bangladesh was led by Amb.
Mashfee Binte Shams, Secretary (East) to the dialogue held in a
fruitful manner. The next Consular Dialogue will be scheduled in
Dhaka.

BSS/AIM/MRU/2115hrs