Space For Rent

Space For Rent
Monday, March 2, 2015, Falgun 18, 1421 BS, Jamadi ul Awwal 10, 1436 Hijr

Indian foreign secy in Dhaka
Observer Online Desk
Published : Monday, 2 March, 2015,  Time : 12:02 PM,  View Count : 40
Indian Foreign Secretary Dr S Jaishankar arrived here on Monday morning to discuss a wide range of bilateral issues between Bangladesh and India.

The Indian Foreign Secretary landed at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport around 11:35am.

Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque welcomed his Indian counterpart at the airport.

Indian High Commissioner in Dhaka Pankaj Saran was also present at the airport.

The flight was delayed for nearly two hours.

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

Then the Indian Foreign Secretary is holding talks with his Bangladesh counterpart at the Foreign Ministry.

He will meet Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali at about 3 pm.

Jaishankar 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 on March 3 and Afghanistan on March 4. The schedule for the other destinations is being worked out through diplomatic channels and will be indicated separately.

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

The Indian Foreign Secretary may convey to Bangladesh leadership that New Delhi was committed to resolving the two long-pending contentious issue of ratifying the land boundary agreement in the budget session of Parliament and signing the Teesta water sharing deal with Bangladesh.

Earlier on February 13, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he would soon be sending his new Foreign Secretary Foreign Secretary Jaishankar to Saarc countries to strengthen ties with the member countries.

"Would be sending our new Foreign Secretary on a Saarc (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) Yatra soon to further strengthen our ties," Modi tweeted.

Assuming the charge, the Foreign Secretary earlier said his priorities are the government's priorities. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, during her recent Dhaka visit, assured the Bangladesh leadership of resolving the issues.

Dhaka has long been demanding the signing of the LBA and the Teesta water sharing deal between the two countries.


Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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