Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina to arrive in India next week on 2-day visit | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina to arrive in India next week on 2-day visit

Jun 14, 2024 10:33 PM IST

This will be Sheikh Hasina’s first stand-alone bilateral visit to India since she began her fifth term following Bangladesh’s general election in January.

NEW DELHI: Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is set to visit New Delhi next week for talks with her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, less than a fortnight after attending the inauguration of his third term on June 9.

Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina attends India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi's swearing-in ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi. (REUTERS)
Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina attends India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi's swearing-in ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi. (REUTERS)

Hasina will be in India on June 21-22, and her meetings with Modi and other leaders are scheduled for the second day of the visit, a Bangladeshi official said on condition of anonymity.

The visit is yet to be formally announced by both countries.

The back-to-back visits by Hasina reflect both the strength of bilateral ties and the importance attached to Bangladesh under India’s “Neighbourhood First” policy.

This will be Hasina’s first stand-alone bilateral visit to India since she began her fifth term following Bangladesh’s general election in January. She was among the leaders of seven countries from the neighbourhood and the Indian Ocean region invited to Modi’s swearing-in ceremony. Modi had brief meetings with all seven leaders after the ceremony though there were no substantive discussions.

The Bangladeshi side has been keen on Hasina visiting India before a proposed trip to China in July as part of the delicate balancing of Dhaka’s relations with the two South Asian giants, people familiar with the matter said.

Besides a review of the overall bilateral relationship and various initiatives by the two sides to boost road, rail and energy connectivity, a number of crucial issues are expected to figure in the meeting between Modi and Hasina, the people said.

These issues include the renewal of the Ganges Water Sharing Treaty, which was signed in December 1996 and is valid for 30 years, Bangladesh’s plans to dredge and develop its section of the cross-border Teesta River, and Dhaka’s request for assured supplies of food items such as onions, ginger, rice and wheat, the people said.

While China has made a formal proposal for taking up Bangladesh’s $1-billion project to develop the Teesta river, the Indian side has conveyed its concerns about the project being awarded to Beijing, the people said.

The deteriorating security situation in neighbouring Myanmar, where government troops have suffered a series of humiliating defeats at the hands of anti-junta resistance forces, is also expected to figure in the meeting, the people said.

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