India-Bangladesh Joint Consultative Committee Meeting

5th India-Bangladesh Joint Consultative Committee Meeting was held in New Delhi today.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Foreign Affairs Minister of Bangladesh Dr Abdul Momen co-chaired the meeting.

In a tweet, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said  Mrs Swaraj and Mr Momen took stock of progress in security, defence, trade and connectivity, development partnership, water, power and energy sectors and consular and cultural cooperation.

The last Joint Consultative Committee Meeting between the two countries was held in October 2017 at Dhaka. Earlier, Mrs Swaraj held a bilateral meeting with Mr Momen.

The Foreign Affairs Minister of Bangladesh arrived in New Delhi on Wednesday on a four day visit to India. It is the first high-level visit from Bangladesh since Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s victory in the parliamentary elections in December last year.

External Affairs Minister congratulated the visiting dignitary on his assumption of the office of Foreign Minister, and appreciated the significance attached to the bilateral relationship, as indicated in his decision to make India the destination of his first visit abroad. The two Ministers reaffirmed that the relationship between India and Bangladesh, forged in the 1971 Liberation War, goes far beyond a strategic partnership. Today it is anchored in history, culture, language and shared values of democracy, secularism, development cooperation and countless other commonalities.

During the meeting, the Ministers discussed the gamut of bilateral issues of mutual interest. They reviewed ongoing cooperation including the implementation of decisions taken during the visits of Prime Minister Modi and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, as well as at the last meeting of JCC in October 2017, in Dhaka. The Ministers expressed satisfaction that both countries are working closer than ever before in every sector, from security and border management to mutually-beneficial trade and investment flows, power and energy, river water sharing, development partnership, transport connectivity, culture, people-to-people contacts. They welcomed the fact that the relationship was now broadening to include new and high technology areas for partnership, such as space, nuclear energy, IT and electronics. The Ministers tasked their accompanying officials to develop a forward looking roadmap for bilateral cooperation to make the partnership irreversible. In particular, they desired that partnership-building efforts should be enhanced in a manner commensurate with commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Bangladesh’s Liberation.

The External Affairs Minister expressed appreciation for the humanitarian gesture of Bangladesh in supporting a large number of displaced persons from the Rakhine region of Myanmar and assured the Foreign Minister of India’s continued support for safe, speedy and sustainable return of the displaced persons to Myanmar. Foreign Minister A.K. Abdul Momen conveyed the gratitude of Government of Bangladesh for the humanitarian assistance provided by India in four tranches since September 2017 to help meet the requirements of the displaced persons from Myanmar. The two Ministers agreed on the need to expedite safe and sustainable repatriation of the displaced people from Rakhine State of Myanmar.

Three MoUs/Agreements were signed to further strengthen the existing multifaceted cooperation between the two countries: (i) MoU on mid-career training of 1800 Bangladesh civil servants, (ii) MoU between AYUSH and the Ministry of Health of Bangladesh on cooperation in the field of medicinal plants, (iii) MoU between Anti-Corruption Commission of Bangladesh and Central Bureau of Investigation of India. An MoU was also signed between Hiranandani Group and Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority to facilitate investments in the Indian Economic Zone in Mongla.

Foreign Minister Momen called on Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and conveyed the greetings of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, and her appreciation for the fact that Prime Minister Modi was the first foreign leader to congratulate her upon the victory of the Awami League in Bangladesh’s parliamentary elections in December 2018. Prime Minister Modi conveyed his good wishes to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for her success in this third consecutive term in office, and reaffirmed India’s abiding commitment to remain Bangladesh’s most committed partner for security and development.

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