At Dhaka meet, Modi, Hasina will follow up on virtual talks

Our Bureau. New Delhi | Updated on March 25, 2021

During his visit to Bangladesh, the Indian Prime Minister will also participate in the country’s National Day celebrations

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina will follow up on their virtual meeting in December last year when they meet in Dhaka this week.

“I will be having substantive discussions with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, following our very productive virtual meeting in December last year. I also look forward to meeting with His Excellency President Abdul Hamid, and to interactions with other Bangladeshi dignitaries,” Modi said in his departure statement ahead of his visit to Bangladesh on March 26-27. This will be his first foreign visit after the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak.

The Prime Minister said that he was looking forward to participating in the National Day celebrations on Friday, which will also commemorate the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation of Bangladesh, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and pay his respects at the Bangabandhu’s Samadhi in Tungipara.

Modi will also offer prayers at the ancient Jashoreshwari Kali Temple, one of the 51 Shaktipeeths in the Puranic tradition. “I am particularly looking forward to my interaction with the representatives of the Matua community at Orakandi, from where Sri Sri Harichandra Thakur-ji disseminated his pious message,” he said.

The Indian PM’s visit to the neighbouring country is on account of three significant events-Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Birth Centenary celebrations, 50 years of the establishment of diplomatic ties between Bangladesh and India and 50 years of Bangladesh liberation war.

People-to-people connect

Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla, on Wednesday, said that while some agreements are likely to be signed between India and Bangladesh this week, the PM’s visit was very qualitative and shouldn’t be seen in terms of the number of agreements. “The people-to-people element of the visit is the most important. The visit is very significant in terms of connect at the popular level,” he said at a press briefing.

Modi said in the statement, “My visit will not only be an occasion to convey appreciation for Bangladesh’s remarkable economic and developmental strides under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visionary leadership, but also to commit India’s abiding support for these achievements. I will also express India’s support and solidarity for Bangladesh's fight against Covid-19,” the PM said.

Agreements and MoUs

India and Bangladesh had signed seven MoUs and agreements after the virtual summit on December 17, 2020. The agreements included a framework of understanding in hydrocarbon sector, framework agreement on High Impact Community Development Project (HICDP), protocol on trans-border elephant conservation, and MoUs on supply of equipment and improvement of garbage and solid waste disposal, in the field of agriculture, and one the between National Museum Delhi and Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Memorial Museum, Dhaka and on the terms of reference for India-Bangladesh CEO forum.

Published on March 25, 2021

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