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Virtual Indo-B’desh talks receive thumbs up

Joint Consultative Commission between Bangladesh

Joint Consultative Commission between Bangladesh

Eastern Times,Dhaka: The sixth meeting of the Joint Consultative Commission (JCC) between Bangladesh and India was held on Tuesday at a virtual platform. The bilateral meet was co-chaired by AK Abdul Momen and S Jaishankar, External Affairs Minister of Bangladesh and India respectively in presence of secretaries and high level representatives from a large number of ministries and divisions of both the countries.

Recognising positive trajectory of bilateral relations, the ministers held discussions on issues including cooperation on connectivity, security, political affairs, development, trade and investment, power and energy sector and people to people contacts in addition to discussing collaboration in the health sector especially in terms of supply, delivery, distribution and co-production of COVID-19 vaccine.

A number of programs including revival of the historic Mujibnagar-Kolkata road, honouring the Indian war veterans, ceremonial military parades, friendship fairs and year-long seminars shall be organised jointly to mark the two epoch events on December this year in different cities of Bangladesh and India. Simultaneous launching of a website on fifty years of victory and friendship was also proposed.

Establishment of Bangabandhu-Bapu digital museums were also agreed by both the countries.

Emphasising the cross border violence, the duo stressed on the need for strengthening effective implementation of the Coordinated Border Management Plan and urged the concerned border forces to enhance coordinated measures to bring down border incidents to zero.

Both sides underscored the necessity of quick resolution of Teesta and other common river water sharing and also agreed to hold the long pending Joint Rivers Commission meeting soon at the Ministerial level to address outstanding issues on water resources cooperation.

Concerning aviation, both reviewed the possibilities of resuming air connectivity amid the ongoing pandemic through special air bubble arrangement with equal share of frequencies and routes by the carriers of both the nations. Bangladesh’s request to India to ease visa and land border restrictions could benefit Bangladeshi medical patients in particular and students enrolled in various educational institutions of India.

Addressing issues of accreditation, certification, standardization, port restrictions and developing port infrastructure by India to enable exports of Bangladeshi products is the need of the hour as various non-tariff barriers and lack of adequate trade facilitation has impeded the flow of Bangladeshi products into India.

Bangladesh requested India to look into the export of essential commodities like onions and stressed on the equitable application of investment policies by India as well.

A high-level monitoring committee was agreed to be formed with Secretary ERD and Indian High Commissioner in Bangladesh to discuss implementation of the development projects under Indian Lines of Credit.

Enhancing cooperation on energy and power sector through facilitation of tripartite power-energy cooperation among Bangladesh-India-Nepal and Bangladesh-India-Bhutan was also discussed.

Bangladesh foreign minister expressed hope that India would proactively work towards the early repatriation of Rohingyas to Myanmar in a safe and sustainable manner.

In addition, the duo jointly unveiled two commemorative stamps as part of the celebration of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

The fifth JCC meeting was held in New Delhi in February last year.

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