Ansar Ahmed Ullah
Contributing Editor, Shottobani
London: Foreign Minister Dr. A.K. Abdul Momen and Indian External Affairs Minister Smt. Sushma Swaraj concluded the 5th meeting of the Joint Consultative Commission between Bangladesh and India at the Jawaharlal Nehru Bhavan in New Delhi on Friday 8 February.
The Indian External Affairs Minister congratulated Minister Momen on his appointment as the Foreign Minister of Bangladesh. In her opening remarks, the Indian Minister underscored that trust and partnership are the bedrock of understanding between India and Bangladesh. She highlighted that both countries are two of the fastest growing economies in the world and India stands in full support of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s development agenda. Indian External Affairs Minister noted with satisfaction that Bangladesh-India bilateral relations are going through a ‘Sonali Oddhay’. Minister Momen highlighted that under the leadership of Prime Minister Hasina and Prime Minister Modi, the relations have reached unprecedented heights.
During the meeting, the two Ministers discussed bilateral issues between in a very cordial environment. The Ministers expressed satisfaction that both countries are working closer than ever before in every sector, from security and border management to mutually-beneficial trade and investment flows, power and energy, river water sharing, development partnership, transport connectivity, culture and people-to-people contacts. They welcomed the fact that the relationship was now broadening to include Blue Economy, cyber security, outer space management ,new and high technology areas for partnership, such as space, nuclear energy, IT and electronics.
Foreign Minister Momen requested for water sharing of all common rivers including early resolution of the Teesta water sharing. The Indian External Affairs Minister assured that they would work for early conclusion of Teesta water sharing agreement. Foreign Minister Momen sought India’s cooperation for early repatriation of the Rohingyas. He emphasized that economic diplomacy is emerging as a foreign policy priority for Bangladesh. He noted that resource mobilisation for achieving the SDGs and the importance of South South and triangular cooperation for developing countries, where India could play a crucial role.
Following the talks, the two Ministers witnessed signing of four MoUs between both sides related to training of Bangladesh mid-career civil servants in India, on cooperation in the field of medicinal plants, on cooperation on anti-corruption issues and for facilitating investments in the Indian Economic Zone in Mongla.