India, Bangladesh to discuss security, business at Dhaka meet today

Indian foreign secretary Vinay Kwatra arrived in Dhaka to lead the Indian side during the Foreign Office Consultation (FOC) between Bangladesh and India to be held on Wednesday.

Foreign secretary of Bangladesh Masud Bin Momen received him on his arrival on Tuesday.

Kwatra will call on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen on Wednesday.

This is Kwatra’s first visit to Dhaka as foreign secretary. Earlier, he had accompanied External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar on a short trip before taking charge of the new office on May 1, 2022.

During the visit, both the foreign secretaries will review the entire range of bilateral issues, including politics and security, water, trade and investment, power and energy, defence, connectivity and sub-regional cooperation, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement on Tuesday.

The visit is keeping in line with the “highest priority” accorded to India’s ‘Neighborhood First’ Policy, it said. “Bangladesh is India’s top-most development partner and its largest trade partner in the region.”

The visit will “further” strengthen ties and impart momentum to ongoing cooperation in diverse areas, it added.

“This is a regular meeting with the Indian foreign secretary,” Masud said on Sunday. “We will discuss all the issues between the two countries.”

The discussion with Kwatra will also involve the implementation of decisions made during high-level meetings last year, Masud added.

India has included Bangladesh as a “guest state” in the alliance’s activities after assuming the G20 presidency.

As part of this, foreign minister Momen will attend the foreign minister-level meeting of the G-20 alliance in early March. PM Hasina is scheduled to attend the G-20 Summit in Delhi in September. The prime minister’s expected visit will also be discussed during the meeting, Masud said.

The most recent FOC between the two countries was held on January 29, 2021, in Delhi.