Indian foreign secretary’s visit to Bangladesh called off | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Indian foreign secretary’s visit to Bangladesh called off

Apr 18, 2024 08:14 PM IST

No reasons were given for the postponement and there was no information on fresh dates for the visit

New Delhi: India on Thursday called off foreign secretary Vinay Kwatra’s visit to Bangladesh this weekend, which was meant to take stock of bilateral ties and prepare the grounds for a trip to New Delhi by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, people familiar with the matter said.

Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra addressing a press briefing in New Delhi. (ANI File Photo)
Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra addressing a press briefing in New Delhi. (ANI File Photo)

No reasons were given for the postponement and there was no information on fresh dates for the visit, the people said on condition of anonymity.

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Kwatra was set to meet his Bangladeshi counterpart Masud Bin Momen and foreign minister Hasan Mahmud during his day-long visit on April 20, the people said. The rapidly deteriorating situation in Myanmar, where the junta has suffered a string of defeats at the hands of resistance forces, was expected to figure in the meetings, the people said.

The foreign secretary would have been the second senior official from the Indian side to visit Bangladesh since Hasina returned to power for a record fifth term after the general election in early January. National Security Adviser Ajit Doval made an unannounced visit to Dhaka in early February, which was closely followed by a trip to India by the Bangladeshi foreign minister.

“There is a standing invitation for the Bangladeshi prime minister to visit India and the foreign secretary’s visit to Dhaka will help firm up plans for that visit,” one of the people cited above said.

Also Read: Situation in Myanmar getting worse day by day: Bangladesh FM Hasan Mahmud

Kwatra and Momen were expected to review bilateral relations and firm up plans for future cooperation, the people said.

Hasina is unlikely to visit New Delhi before the conclusion of India’s general election in early June. The Bangladesh premier also has plans to visit China after travelling to India, and Kwatra’s visit will help prepare the grounds for her trip to New Delhi, the people said.

Hasina’s visit is expected to take place only in late June or early July, they said.

There is also a possibility of a meeting between Kwatra and Hasina, the people said.

Besides bilateral relations, the situation in Myanmar, which has thrown up several security challenges for India and Bangladesh, was expected to figure in Kwatra’s meetings in Dhaka. The anti-junta resistance forces have captured key border trade and crossing points on the frontiers with India, Bangladesh, China and Thailand.

The resistance forces have also overrun military bases in many areas along the borders with India and Bangladesh, and both countries have had to deal with Myanmarese troops entering their territories to escape the fighting.

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