Sushma Swaraj due today to hold bilateral talks

Rohingya issue likely to be discussed

21 Oct 2017, 22:37 | updated: 22 Oct 2017, 02:44

Online Desk

Dhaka: Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj arrives here on Sunday on a two-day official visit to discuss bilateral issues with an expectation to take forward the relations to the next level.

She will arrive at the Bangabandhu Air Force base at 1:55pm, a senior official told UNB on Saturday.

Bangladesh and India will hold the next Joint Consultative Commission (JCC) meeting on Sunday afternoon to review the entire bilateral relations and take forward the decisions taken so far.

Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali and his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj will lead their respective sides at the fourth such meeting which will begin at 4:30pm at state guesthouse Padma.

The meeting will coordinate, oversee and follow up implementation of initiatives as well as explore new avenues for cooperation.

The Indian External Affairs Minister will meet Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at 6pm on the same day.

The Rohingya issue is likely to come up for discussion in both the meetings, a diplomatic source told UNB.

Sushma is expected to meet the Bangladeshi leadership and also interact with the representatives of leading Bangladeshi think tanks, chambers of commerce and industry and cultural organisations, said the Indian Ministry of External Affairs.

This is the second visit of Sushma to Bangladesh at the invitation of Mahmood Ali and comes soon after the state visit of the Prime Minister of Bangladesh to India in April 2017.

The visit is expected to afford an opportunity for review of the excellent bilateral relations between India and Bangladesh and further strengthening of these ties, said the Ministry of External Affairs.

Earlier, Indian Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs Arun Jaitley paid a three-day official visit from October 3 at the invitation of Finance Minister AMA Muhith.

The two ministers reviewed the status of economic cooperation and development partnership initiatives taken during the visit of Prime Minster of India Narendra Modi to Bangladesh in June 2015 and Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina to India in April 2017.

India and Bangladesh have witnessed a deepening of bilateral economic cooperation in recent years, particularly in terms of increasing volumes of trade and investment flows, said the Indian High Commission in Dhaka.

During the visit of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to India in April 2017, an Indian Line of Credit of US$ 4.5 billion was announced for Bangladesh.

The dollar credit line agreement for implementation of this third Line of Credit (LoC) was signed in presence of the Ministers of Finance of India and Bangladesh on October 4.

This brought the total quantum of credit lines extended by India to Bangladesh over the last six years to US$ 8 billion.