New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday met for bilateral talks and will jointly inaugurate three projects to strengthen ties in diverse areas including defence and security, trade and connectivity.
The two countries signed 7 pacts in core areas such as transport, connectivity, capacity building and culture. Three projects involving the import of LPG from Bangladesh were also launched during the meeting.
Earlier, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar called on Hasina. “EAM @DrSJaishankar had a warm conversation with Bangladesh PM #SheikhHasina. Reaffirmed India’s highest priority to her relations with Bangladesh,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.
“The relations (between India and Bangladesh) have never been so close. Naturally, the focus of discussion will be bilateral relationship. When I say bilateral relationship, we are talking about the next steps the two countries should take now to get the relationship in a different trajectory,” Kumar further said.
Her remarks came a week after she met Modi in New York and said that the NRC has become a matter of ‘great concern’ for Bangladeshis. The Indian PM is learnt to have assured his Bangladeshi counterpart and said that there is ‘nothing to be worried’ about since the two countries shared good relations.
The issue of implementation of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam was also likely discussed during the meeting between the two leaders, sources told News18.
On Thursday, the Bangladesh Prime Minister said she was satisfied with Modi’s assurance that her country will not be perturbed over the implementation of NRC in Assam.
According to a report in The Indian Express, speaking about the NRC at a reception hosted by Bangladesh envoy Syed Muazzem Ali, Hasina said that she doesn’t ‘see a problem’ with the exercise. “I had a talk with PM Modi. Everything is okay,” she was quoted as saying.
On National Register of Citizens, Kumar said it is a Supreme Court mandated process and it is an on-going exercise. “From the MEA perspective, there is nothing I can add at this stage. I think, it is important to understand the due process has to be completed first. And there are appellate process before you reach that stage,” he said.
PM Modi said, “I am happy that today’s talks will further reinvigorate ties between India and Bangladesh.”