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Thursday, February 29, 2024

India-Bangladesh Foreign Secretary level meeting on Wednesday

Date:

India and Bangladesh are scheduled to hold Foreign Office Consultations (FOC) on Wednesday, which will review the ongoing cooperation between the two countries apart from the issues of mutual interests.

Indian foreign secretary Vinay Kwatra will arrive in Dhaka after the completion of his two-day official visit to Nepal from 13 to 14 February.

Foreign secretary Masud Bin Momen and his Indian counterpart will discuss all the bilateral issues at the FOC.

Kwatra assumed charge as foreign secretary on 1 May last year, and this will be his first Bangladesh visit after that.

Preparatory works regarding the FOC are now underway, said Seheli Sabrin, spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, during a weekly briefing Thursday.

She said the last FOC was held on 29 January, 2021, in New Delhi, India.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is likely to attend the 18th Group of Twenty (G20) Summit which will take place in New Delhi on 9-10 September this year.

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi invited her Bangladesh counterpart Hasina to attend the Summit.

Meanwhile, foreign minister AK Abdul Momen will attend the G20 foreign ministers’ meeting in New Delhi on 1 and 2 March.

The issues related to the upcoming visits by the prime minister and foreign minister are likely to be discussed during the Indian foreign secretary’s visits, said a diplomatic source.

Kwatra is likely to meet the prime minister and foreign minister during his visit.

India, which holds the presidency of the G20 from 1 December 2022 to 30 November, 2023, invited Bangladesh as a “guest country” in its all meetings, Seheli said.

Bangladesh sees its series of engagements with the G20 under India’s presidency this year as a “big honour”.

“We will raise our issues there. It is a big honour for us. We should be prudent,” Momen told the reporters at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs recently, noting that Bangladesh is the only South Asian country invited by the host.

The G20 is the premier forum for international economic cooperation, which plays an “important role” in shaping and strengthening global architecture and governance on all major international economic issues.

India invited Bangladesh, Egypt, Mauritius, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Singapore, Spain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as guest countries to its meetings and summit, according to the Ministry of External Affairs, India.

Apart from the G20 leaders, Egyptian president Abdel Fattah Saeed Hussein Khalil El-Sisi, Mauritian prime minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte, Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari, Oman head of state Sultan Haitham bin Tarik, Singapore prime minister Lee Hsien Loong, Spanish prime minister Pedro Sánchez, UAE president Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan were invited to the G20 Summit.

Hasina paid a state visit to India from 5 to 8 September last year at the invitation of Modi.

The G20 comprises 19 countries – Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Türkiye, the UK, the US and the European Union.

The G20 members represent around 85 per cent of the global GDP, over 75 per cent of the global trade, and about two-thirds of the world population.

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