Eastern Times Correspondent, Dhaka, 17 January: Bangladesh and India are scheduled to hold foreign secretary-level talks on January 29 in New Delhi, according to diplomatic sources.
Foreign secretary Masud Bin Momen will lead the Bangladesh delegation in the meeting titled ‘foreign office consultation’ in which his counterpart Harsh Vardhan Shringla will lead the Indian team.
The two foreign secretaries would also take stock of the implementation of the decisions made at the level of prime ministers and the joint consultative commission led by the foreign ministers of the two countries recently.
They would also set the stage for the next round of visit by Indian prime minister Narendra Modi to Bangladesh and his meeting with his counterpart Sheikh Hasina in the last week of March.
Modi is scheduled to be in Dhaka on March 26, said a senior Bangladesh diplomat.
Bangladesh is also expecting a meeting between the water secretaries of the two countries to prepare the grounds for a minister-level meeting of the Joint Rivers Commission by mid-March, said Bangladesh officials.
The meeting will be for the resolution of the protracted disputes on water sharing of several common rivers, including signing an interim agreement on the River Teesta based on documents initialled in 2010, the officials said.
Bangladesh is expected to raise issues of various non-tariff barriers, including anti-dumping and anti-circumvention duties imposed by India on Bangladesh products like jute, and lack of adequate trade facilitation impeding the flow of Bangladeshi products into India, they said.
Engaging India in the processes of repatriating the forcibly displaced Rohingyas to Myanmar and the stopping of killing along the Indo-Bangladesh border by the Indian Border Security Force would also be on the Bangladesh agenda.
Shringla was in Dhaka in August 2020 on his last official visit.