Bangladesh foreign minister's maiden India visit to focus on Rohingya crisis; five MoUs expected to be signed

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India Feb 06, 2019, 08.20 PM(IST) Written By: Sidhant Sibal

File photo of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. Photograph:( AFP )

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AK Abdul Momen's visit is the first high-level one from Bangladesh to India since Sheikh Hasina's landslide victory in December's Parliamentary elections.

Bangladesh Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen will be in India on a 4-day visit starting Wednesday.

During his visit, Momen is expected to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Thursday and Friday respectively.

On Friday, Momen will take part in the fifth Joint Consultative Committee Meeting, considered an important part of his visit.

This will be the first high-level visit from Bangladesh to India since Sheikh Hasina's landslide victory in December's Parliamentary elections.

Speaking to local state news agency, Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha, ahead of the visit, Momen said, "We want to consult with my counterpart about the early resolution of Rohingya crisis as it may affect regional stability. I am visiting India in my maiden foreign tour to honour our great neighbour, the world's greatest democracy."

Last year in December India began the fourth tranche of relief assistance to Rohingya refugees camping in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar as a part of Operation Insaniyat. India's Operation Insaniyat started in September 2017 to help the refugees who had fled Myanmar and are currently taking shelter in Bangladesh.

During the visit, five memoranda of understandings (MoUs) are expected to be signed. These are MoU between the Anti-corruption Commission (ACC) of Bangladesh and CBI, Bangladesh Television (BTV) and Prasar Bharati, Directorate General of Health Services of Bangladesh and National Medicinal Plants Board, Ministry of Ayush in the field of Medicinal plants and Hiranandani group and Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA) for developing Indian Economic Zone in Mongla, Bangladesh. 

Other than this, a MoU between National Centre for Good Governance, Departement of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances, India and Ministry of Public Administration, Bangladesh will be signed on training and capacity building programme for Bangladesh Civil servants.

Modi was the first leader to congratulate PM Hasina after the victory in December elections and reiterated the priority "India attaches to Bangladesh as a neighbour".

Modi met Hasina three times in 2018. First was in London during the Commonwealth summit, second in Nepal during the BIMSTEC summit and third was during her visit to India. She had visited India in 2018 for the inauguration of Bangladesh Bhaban at Santiniketan University in West Bengal along with Modi.

During the visit, Hasina was awarded a Doctor of Literature (D Lit) by Kazi Nazrul University, Asansol.