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November 2023

Episode: KPN 26-11-2023

Kaladan Radio November 26, 2023 1370 5


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Dhaka seeks Delhi’s help in Rohingya crisis, essentials supply

Dhaka on Friday once again sought assistance of New Delhi in resolving the protracted Rohingya crisis and uninterrupted supply of essential commodities amid volatile market situation in Bangladesh.

The issues came up in the Foreign Office Consultations held at the state guest house Hyderabad House in New Delhi.

Foreign secretary Masud Bin Momen, leading Bangladesh delegation to the foreign-secretary level talks with his counterpart Vinay Mohan Kwatra, also pressed for early conclusion of the Teesta water sharing treaty as India has been dragging its feet for long in signing a deal with Bangladesh on the trans-boundary river, according to officials concerned.

Bangladesh on several occasions sought India’s assistance, among others, in addressing the Rohingya crisis as there is no visible progress in repatriating the more than 1.1 million forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals sheltered in Bangladesh camps since the 2017 exodus.

The Indian foreign secretary in the bilateral talks emphasised maintaining stability in the region.

‘The Bangladesh foreign secretary requested his counterpart to deepen and expand the people-to-people contacts. He also sought India’s assistance in resolving Rohingya crisis,’ said a Bangladesh foreign ministry press release issued immediately after the meeting.

Terming Bangladesh as a trusted neighbour, Indian foreign secretary Vinay Kwatra expressed satisfaction on ‘the excellent bilateral relations that exist between the two countries’.

He assured ‘the commitment of the Leadership to further strengthen the relationship with Bangladesh,’ while underlining the need for maintaining stability in the region, according to the release.

The Foreign Office Consultations between the two neighbours took place at a time with Bangladesh heading for the general elections scheduled for January 7 amid protests from major opposition parties, including Bangladesh Nationalist Party, pressing for resignation of the ruling Awami League and holding the polls under a non-party caretaker administration.

Bangladesh foreign secretary Masud raised some key issues including of the Teesta agreement and other water-sharing treaties of common rivers, removing trade barriers for Bangladesh’s exportable goods and uninterrupted supply of essential commodities between the two countries, said the release.

There was, however, no specific progress in resolving the pressing matters like Teesta water sharing and withdrawal of trade barriers, according to the officials.

The two foreign secretaries further emphasised bolstering cooperation in important areas such as development, trade and commerce, regional connectivity, regional power grid connection, security and water related issues, consular and cultural issues, according to the Bangladesh foreign ministry release.

They also discussed the possible ways to address the challenges to be faced by Bangladesh during post-graduation scenario.

Both sides reiterated that the two border guard forces should continue their cooperation to have a ‘peaceful border’, according to the release.

Bangladesh’s foreign secretary thanked the Government of India for inviting prime minister Sheikh Hasina to attend the ‘G20 Leaders’ Summit’ as the only South Asian leader under India’s G20 presidency.

Both the foreign secretaries expressed satisfaction over the existing bilateral relations and the progress made in 2023.

Referring to the recent inauguration of number of projects for enhancing connectivity and power and energy sector cooperation by the two prime ministers, they said

that this sort of cooperation reflects the tangible outcomes of the strong bilateral relations.

‘Both sides held comprehensive discussions on a wide range of issues covering border and security, trade, commerce and connectivity, cooperation in water, power and energy sectors, people to people ties and development cooperation in

Bangladesh. Both sides also exchanged views on sub regional, regional and multilateral issues,’ said an Indian foreign ministry release.

It was agreed that the next FOC will be hosted in Bangladesh on a mutually convenient date, the release mentioned.

The FOC serves as a key platform for holding a comprehensive discussion with a view to reviewing bilateral issues and exploring the new avenues of mutual interests of the two nations.

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