Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina held talks with Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on various issues of bilateral interest on Thursday, on the sidelines of the multilateral Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London.
This marked the first meeting between the two prime ministers since the Bangladeshi leader’s visit to New Delhi in April last year.
“Neighbourhood first! Connecting with a neighbour and a close friend, PM Narendra Modi and Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina had a productive exchange of views on various issues of bilateral interest on the sidelines of CHOGM 2018,” India's Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.
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“Both leaders are scheduled to hold talks on a wide range of issues, including infrastructure development and other regional matters,” an official familiar with the meeting added.
The meeting is also expected to have finalized if a proposed visit by Sheikh Hasina to India in the coming months is likely to go ahead.
During her last Indian visit, Bangladesh and India had signed an agreement on a 130-km oil pipeline for transporting oil from India to Bangladesh, with a capacity of 1 million tons per annum.
India sees itself as an important development partner of Bangladesh, having extended lines of credit of over $8 billion to the country in the last seven years – the largest amount of credit India has committed to a single country.
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Bilateral trade between the two nations almost tripled, from $2.75 billion in 2008-09 to $7.52 billion in 2016-17.
On Friday, all the commonwealth leaders will head to Windsor Castle for their retreat, when the leaders get together in an informal setting without any pre-set agenda or being accompanied by their usual coterie of civil servants and advisers.
This article was first published on banglatribune.com