Sunday, April 21, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

PM likely to travel to India, China in first bilateral visits since forming new govt

  • India visit after the country’s election 
  • China visit expected in July
Update : 04 Apr 2024, 10:20 AM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is likely to embark on bilateral visits within the next three months, with a possibility to visit New Delhi and Beijing this year to engage in a broader way with Asia's two major economic giants India and China.

After the formation of the new government following the January 7 national election, the prime minister visited Germany in February to attend the Munich Security Conference.

A diplomatic source says Sheikh Hasina will begin her bilateral visits with India after the neighbouring country elects a new government by the first week of June.

The world’s largest democratic election in India to elect a government for a five-year term will be held in seven phases between April 19 and June 1, and votes will be counted on June 4.

A coalition led by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's party could win nearly three-fourths of the parliamentary seats in the election, according to a survey.

Modi, 73, first swept to power in 2014 and is set to get re-elected, say political observers.

"Prime Minister's (Sheikh Hasina) India visit will definitely take place. However, it will take place after the election in India," Foreign Minister Hasan Mahmud said.

He said it has not yet been discussed at the official level when the visit will exactly take place.

In January, Modi conveyed his heartiest congratulations to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on the victory of the Awami League under her leadership in the 12th general election in Bangladesh.

In a congratulatory letter on January 8,  Modi expressed confidence that as Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina leads her country for a fourth consecutive term, the historic and close ties between India and Bangladesh will continue to deepen in all areas of their partnership.

He affirmed that as a close friend and trusted development partner of Bangladesh, India will continue to support Bangladesh’s aspirations and growth.

In the letter, Modi also conveyed his best wishes to the people of Bangladesh for their continued progress, peace and prosperity.

Modi had a bilateral meeting with Sheikh Hasina when she visited India as a guest to participate in the G20 Leaders Summit on September 9-10.

Meanwhile, if re-elected, Modi is likely to invite the heads of the governments of South Asian and Bimstec countries to attend his swearing-in ceremony, said a diplomatic source.

On Wednesday, Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Yao Wen met Sheikh Hasina and affirmed China's commitment to fostering greater investment by Chinese companies in Bangladesh and enhancing bilateral relations.

He highlighted the potential for elevating bilateral relations, especially in trade, investment and people-to-people contact, with the prime minister's upcoming visit to China in July expected to be a significant step in this direction.

In discussions at Ganabhaban, Ambassador Yao stressed the importance of bolstering people-to-people exchanges and aiding Bangladesh's increased involvement in international and regional arenas.

This support aims to accelerate Bangladesh's journey towards realizing its Vision 2041 and achieving a Smart Bangladesh, said a Chinese diplomatic source.

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