President Md Abdul Hamid will visit India in the second week of March to join the International Solar Alliance (ISA) summit, diplomatic sources in both Dhaka and Delhi say.
Hamid will represent Bangladesh at the March 11 summit.
A senior Indian Foreign Ministry official has said Prime Minister Narendra Modi personally invited his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina a few days ago.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has declined the invitation, as she will be busy with a pre-planned bilateral visit. However, President Hamid will attend the summit on behalf of Bangladesh.
He will arrive in India on March 9 — but not in Delhi. He will travel via northeast India’s Guwahati.
Hamid will meet with Modi and his Indian counterpart Ram Nath Kovind. He is also expected to hold separate meetings with representatives of other countries, sources say.
President Hamid visited India in December 2014 at the invitation of his counterpart Pranab Mukherjee, who retired in 2017. Hamid, on the other hand, was re-elected earlier this month.
The summit of the ISA, led by India and France, will take place on March 11 at the President House in Delhi. Narendra Modi and his French counterpart Edouard Philippe will jointly host the summit.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, and Bangladesh’s President Hamid will attend the summit as special guests. Apart from them, either head of states or ministers of nearly 50 countries will be present.
121 countries have already joined the alliance. These nations are located between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn. Most of them are geographically located for optimal absorption of the sun’s rays.
India’s Renewable Energy Ministry’s Secretary Anand Kumar says: “Bangladesh, like India, has the potential for solar power production. We want to undertake a special initiative at the summit to set up solar rooftop panels from which both countries can benefit.
“Both countries have special expertise in building this type of panels at low cost.”
This article was first published on banglatribune.com