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Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina’s Visit to India Commences: Key Discussion Points

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh begins a two-day state visit to India today, marking the first bilateral state visit by a foreign leader since India’s new government took office following the Lok Sabha elections. This visit aims to strengthen and expand ties between Bangladesh and India, enhancing cooperation across various sectors, as reported by LiveMint.

Sheikh Hasina was among seven prominent leaders from neighboring countries and the Indian Ocean region who attended the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Union Council of Ministers at Rashtrapati Bhavan on June 9. During her visit, Prime Minister Hasina will engage in bilateral discussions with Prime Minister Modi, meet with President Droupadi Murmu and Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar, and receive a courtesy call from the Minister of External Affairs, S. Jaishankar. A key meeting between Hasina and Modi is scheduled for June 22 at Hyderabad House, where extensive discussions will take place to solidify numerous agreements aimed at cooperation across various sectors.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) announced, “At the invitation of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina will pay a state visit to India on June 21 and 22.” This visit holds particular significance as it is the first incoming bilateral state visit since the formation of India’s new government following the 18th Lok Sabha elections. The MEA statement highlighted that apart from bilateral consultations with Modi, Hasina will call on President Murmu and Vice President Dhankhar. According to sources cited by PTI, the talks between the two prime ministers are expected to focus on elevating the bilateral relationship to new heights.

Key projects and initiatives expected to be discussed include finalizing the inauguration of the Feni Moitree Bridge for public transport and the commissioning of the second unit of the Rampal Maitree power plant, symbolizing enhanced connectivity between India and Bangladesh. Additionally, the Maitri Setu bridge in South Tripura district is anticipated to commence passenger movement by September this year, as reported by the newspaper.

Bangladesh remains a vital partner for India under its ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy, with cooperation spanning areas such as security, trade, commerce, energy, connectivity, science and technology, defense, and maritime affairs. In 2021, S. Jaishankar emphasized that Bangladesh is not only a crucial part of India’s “Neighbourhood First” policy but also pivotal to New Delhi’s “Act East policy,” which aims to strengthen ties between India and Southeast Asia. Notable achievements in the connectivity sector include the inauguration of the Maitri Setu bridge over the Feni River in Tripura and the launch of the Chilahati-Haldibari rail link.

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Author:- Apoorva Arora

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