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Foreign Secy Harsh Shringla calls on Sheikh Hasina, discusses minister-level meet between India, Bangladesh

Foreign Secy Harsh Shringla calls on Sheikh Hasina, discusses minister-level meet between India, Bangladesh

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New Delhi [India], August 18 (ANI): Foreign secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla on Tuesday met with Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and discussed a proposal to convene a joint consultative commission meeting between New Delhi and Dhaka at the foreign ministers level, sources said.
In his first foreign visit since the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, Shringla who arrived on a two-day visit to Bangladesh earlier today called on PM Hasina who appreciated the fact that PM Narendra Modi sent Shringla to Dhaka, the sources added.
Hasina has not met with any dignitary from abroad and had very few visitors from within Bangladesh over the past few months.
Sources said that Shringla and Hasina had an "excellent meeting" and discussions included development partnership between the two countries, enhancing connectivity, the revival of economy post-Covid as well as cooperation on fighting COVID pandemic, including on therapeutics and vaccine.
"Excellent meeting. Foreign Secretary (Shringla) was accompanied by High Commissioner (Riva Ganguly Das). Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has not met anyone from abroad and very few in the country in past few months," sources said.
Sheikh Hasina "greatly appreciated" PM Modi's gesture in "sending someone to touch base, convey a message and see how the two sides could take the relationship forward," sources said.
The sources further said: "Areas of interest were development partnership, enhancing connectivity, the revival of economy post-Covid, cooperation on COVID-19 assistance, including on therapeutics and vaccine, joint commemoration of Mujib Barsho (or the birth centenary of Bangladesh's founder Sheikh Mujibur Rahman)."
Hasina expressed "gratefulness" regarding the supply of locomotives from India. Last month the Indian Railways had handed over 10 broad-gauge (BG) diesel locomotives to Bangladesh.
"A proposal for Joint Consultative Commission at Foreign Minister level to be convened virtually soon to oversee relationship, especially projects. Security-related issues of mutual interest were also discussed," they added
Proposals for travel bubble for business, official, and medical travel were also discussed, the sources said.
Earlier in the day, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said that air bubbles have been proposed with India's neighbours including Bangladesh.
The air bubbles arrangement between the two countries helps airlines to operate international flights with certain restrictions.
Meanwhile, during her meet with Foreign Secretary Shringla, Hasina also spoke about the Rohingya issue and their possible safe repatriation to Myanmar, sources said. (ANI)

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