Foreign Secretary IFS Shringla in Dhaka to reset ties

The Foreign Secretary of India, Harsh V. Shringla, is set to go on a tour to Bangladesh and meet Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to reset ties with Bangladesh.

Foreign Secretary Harsh V. Shringla will be on a tour of Bangladesh this Tuesday and is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, with whom he enjoys a good relationship, owing to him having served as the High Commissioner in Dhaka from 2016-2019. The visit aims to boost the ties between the two countries, sources said.

This will be Shringla’s first visit out of the country since the COVID-19 lockdown began.The meeting that was described by Indian government sources as “excellent” saw the two sides deciding to hold a virtual joint consultative commission meeting at the foreign minister level at the earliest to oversee relationship, especially projects.

During the two-day visit, the foreign secretary “will discuss and take forward cooperation on matters of mutual interest”, the Ministry of External Affairs said. Shringla is also scheduled to meet Bangladesh Foreign Minister A.K. Abdul Momen.

He will be accompanied by outgoing High Commissioner to Bangladesh Riva Ganguly Das and Joint Secretary Smita Pant, who now looks after India’s relations with Bangladesh and Myanmar, succeeding Vikram Doraiswami who has been named as New Delhi’s new envoy to Dhaka as Das will come back to the Ministry of External Affairs as Secretary (East).

However, Dhaka expressed its displeasure when Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen cancelled his India visit scheduled from December 12-14, 2019. However, MEA spokesperson said, “Bangladesh side have conveyed that the Minister has changed his programme on account of domestic issues pertaining to the commemoration of the ‘Victory Day’ in Bangladesh on December 16″. Subsequently in January, the Bangladesh State Minister Shahriar Alam dropped out of Raisina Dialogue in India for which he was invited. For that too MEA spokesperson said that India was informed about it.

Meanwhile, there were reports that Hasina had refused to meet the  Indian High Commissioner Riva Das. These reports too were rubbished with a clarification that Prime Minister Hasina had not met very many people due to the COVID-19 crisis.

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