India, B’desh reaffirm commitment to strengthen partnership


India and Bangladesh have reaffirmed their commitment to further strengthen the partnership and expanding multifaceted cooperation, and also emphasised on the need to resume activities on various joint mechanisms soon after the Covid scenario improves in both countries, officials said.

Bangladesh Foreign Minister A.K. Abdul Momen and Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar on Thursday, in Uzbekistan capital Tashkent, discussed a range of issues including the bilateral and regional connectivity, Covid-19 and vaccination situation in both the countries.

Jaishankar, during the meeting, expressed his happiness as the supply of vaccination to Bangladesh is back in track from diversified external source including under COVAX arrangement.

They also discussed the issue of repatriation of the forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals temporarily staying in Bangladesh (the Rohingyas) as well as the cooperation of both countries in various international forum.

Momen had held separate bilateral meetings with his counterparts from India, China and Tajikistan at the sideline of the International Conference on “Central and South Asia: Regional connectivity. Challenges and opportunities” on Thursday, in Tashkent.

This was followed by Momen’s meeting with Wang Yi, Foreign Minister of China.

Both sides reciprocated their appreciation to each other for exchanging video messages by President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Hasina on the occasions of the joint programme of the 100th anniversary of the Father of the Nation, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, and Golden Jubilee of Bangladesh’s independence and the 100th anniversary of the Communist Party of China, respectively.

Momen thanked the Chinese government for initiating the six-party Covid consultation and expressed Bangladesh’s gratitude to the Chinese Government for standing by the people of Bangladesh at an extremely difficult time by generosity sending vaccine doses as gifts and also opening the commercial supply line.

He reiterated his request to initiate vaccine co-production in Bangladesh with partnership from Bangladeshi and Chinese stakeholders. Wang Yi assured him of the Chinese government’s support on this issue.

Both the foreign ministers agreed to continue to work further towards the repatriation of the Rohingyas. They also underscored the need to resume the tripartite dialogue.

During his meeting with the Foreign Minister of Tajikistan, Sirojiddin Muhriddin, Momen proposed to initiate a joint working commission to boost bilateral trade and investment.

Muhriddin expressed his country’s appreciation to Bangladesh for graciously hosting the persecuted Rohingya people and pledged to continue to support Bangladesh in its multidimensional efforts to repatriate the displaced Rohingyas.

At the invitation of his Uzbek counterpart, Momen is leading a Bangladesh delegation comprising of Bangladesh ambassador to Uzbekistan and senior officials from Dhaka to the International Conference on “Central and South Asia: Regional connectivity. Challenges and opportunities”.

Momen will depart for Dhaka on July 18.