S Jaishankar to hold bilateral talks on Nepal, Bangladesh trips
The visits to both countries are the first by Jaishankar since he assumed office in June and are in line with the government’s “neighbourhood first” policy, the people said.Updated: Aug 19, 2019 23:56 IST
External affairs minister S Jaishankar on Monday began a four-day visit to Nepal and Bangladesh aimed at reviewing bilateral relations and charting the course for future cooperation, people familiar with developments said.
The visits to both countries are the first by Jaishankar since he assumed office in June and are in line with the government’s “neighbourhood first” policy, the people said. He has also visited Bhutan and is expected to visit some Indian Ocean countries in future, they said.
Jaishankar, who will be in Dhaka during August 19-20, will review the status of bilateral ties and ongoing development projects during a meeting with his Bangladeshi counterpart AK Abdul Momen.
The people said the Bangladeshi side is expected to raise two issues that are key for Dhaka – the sharing of the waters of 54 rivers, including the Teesta, and India’s support for the repatriation of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees to Myanmar.
Bangladeshi leaders have also expressed concerns about reports that people left out of the National Register of Citizens in Assam could be deported to Bangladesh.
The two sides are also expected to frame the agenda for Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s planned visit to India in October, the people said. This will be her first visit to India during her third stint as premier. Jaishankar will also call on Hasina.
While in Nepal during August 21-22, Jaishankar will co-chair the fifth meeting of the Nepal-India Joint Commission with his Nepalese counterpart Pradeep Kumar Gyawali to review bilateral relations and various areas of cooperation, such as connectivity, economic partnership, trade and transit, power and water resources and education.
The meetings of the joint commission, established in 1987, are held alternately in both countries. The last meeting was held in New Delhi in October 2016.
Jaishankar will also call on President Bidya Devi Bhandari and Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli.
First Published: Aug 19, 2019 23:30 IST