• Wednesday, Dec 08, 2021
  • Last Update : 11:52 am

Indian Foreign Secretary Shringla calls on PM Hasina

  • Published at 11:28 pm August 18th, 2020
Harsh Vardhan Shringla, sheikha hasina
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, left, Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla Dhaka Tribune

They discussed how to boost the existing bilateral ties between the neighbouring countries, official says

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has met with Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla at her official residence, Ganabhaban, in Dhaka.

The meeting took place on Tuesday evening, where the prime minister and the Indian foreign secretary discussed how to boost the existing bilateral ties between the neighbouring countries.

A high official of the Indian High Commission to Bangladesh confirmed the matter to Dhaka Tribune.

According to the source, the meeting started at around 7:30pm and continued for more than an hour. 

This was a courtesy call by the Indian foreign secretary, who has served as an Indian envoy to Bangladesh recently, to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the source added.

Also Read - Indian foreign secretary arrives on two-day trip

The press wing of the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) has yet to confirm the matter.  

Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Riva Ganguly Das, who is Shringla’s successor, attended a press briefing held at the Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel in Dhaka at around 9:30pm on Tuesday, where she said: “There is a commitment from both the sides [Bangladesh and India] to take this relationship further.”

The source also said that, during the meeting, Shringla proposed to start air transport bubbles with Bangladesh, which India already has with Germany, France, and the Maldives.

Air travel bubbles are temporary arrangements between two countries aimed at restarting commercial passenger services when regular international flights are suspended - in this case, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

This matter was also discussed earlier this week, in a meeting between Shringla and Bangladesh High Commissioner to India Muhammad Imran.

According to diplomatic sources, while Bangladesh has removed all restrictions on its side of the border areas, through which the movement of people takes place, India continues to remain shut as it continues its battle against Covid-19.

Sources also said that both the countries are going to take initiatives to allow the entry of those who want to visit India and Bangladesh on medical grounds

Also Read - Masud: Bangladesh will explore all options on Covid-19 vaccine 

Some of them have valid visas issued by the Indian High Commission in Dhaka, but cannot travel owing to the border shutdown.

Sources also said that a joint consulting commission (JCC), headed by the foreign ministers of the two countries, will be formed soon. 

But, due to the Covid-19 outbreak, the meeting regarding this issue may take place online.

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