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Dhaka Tribune

Indian foreign secy due today

Update : 01 Mar 2015, 07:08 PM

Indian Foreign Secretary Dr S Jaishankar will arrive in Dhaka today to discuss a wide range of bilateral issues between Bangladesh and India.

Though his stay will be close to 24 hours, Jaishankar is apparently coming with a lot of tasks as India is keen to extend support to Bangladesh in many areas not confining to two major pending issues – LBA and Teesta deal – between the two countries, said a diplomatic source.

An official at the Foreign Ministry said Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque will receive his Indian counterpart at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport on his arrival.

Then the Indian Foreign Secretary will have talks with his Bangladesh counterpart at the Foreign Ministry around 11:15am before meeting Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali around 3pm.

Jaishankar, already in the Bhutanese capital of Thimphu on the first leg of his visit to four Saarc countries, will meet Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at 6:30pm at Parliament Bhaban.

Though the foreign ministry official did not say anything about what to be discussed, diplomatic sources said issues like power generation and distribution, infrastructure development like road, housing and port development and investment in prospective areas are likely to come up for discussions during his interaction with the government.

How Bangladesh and India can work together as India has a plan to launch Satellite for Saarc region in 2016 can also be discussed.

Proposing satellite diplomacy with a view to playing a key role in the development of the region, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier asked Indian space agency ISRO to develop a Saarc satellite, which can be dedicated as a ‘gift’ to the neighbours.

Discussion on Sub-Regional Cooperation on Water Resources Management and Power/Hydropower and on Connectivity and Transit may also be held.

Earlier, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said the Foreign Secretary will, in accordance with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s directives, be undertaking the first phase of the Saarc “Yatra” from March 1.

Jaishankar will visit Pakistan tomorrow and Afghanistan on the day after tomorrow.

The schedule for the other destinations is being worked out through diplomatic channels and will be indicated separately.

This will be Jaishankar’s first visit to Bangladesh since he took over the charge of the Indian Foreign Secretary on January 29. 

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