Recently, External Affairs Minister of India visited Bangladesh for a bilateral meet.

  • This meeting comes ahead of Prime Minister Modi visit to Bangladesh scheduled in March 2021.
  • Earlier a 122 member contingent of the Bangladesh Armed Forces has participated in the 72nd Republic Day parade, commemorating 50 years of the 1971 India-Pakistan war that led to the liberation of Bangladesh.
  • Bangladesh’s Stand
    • Resolution of Problems
      • Problems between the neighbouring countries should be resolved through discussions and negotiations.
    • Prioritising Each Others Benefit
      • Need to focus on possible ways to materialise commitments and accommodate each other’s priorities in a mutually beneficial manner.
    • Cooperation During Covid-19 Pandemic
      • Bangladesh acknowledged the collaborative initiative of the two countries in implementing the COVID-19 vaccination programme against the ongoing pandemic.
      • Bangladesh purchased the covavirus ronaccine from Serum Institute of India.
        • Bangladesh is the largest recipient of 9 million (90 lakh) doses of Made in India vaccine.
    • Multidimensional Relationship
      • Both sides are committed to expand their relationship in all dimensions, ranging from security, trade, transport and connectivity, culture, people-to-people ties, energy, joint development of our shared resources and defence.
  • India’s Stand
    • Congratulated Bangladesh
      • On its graduation from the Least Developed Country status.
      • Bangladesh has been on the United Nations Least Developed Countries list since 1975.
      • Bangladesh fulfilled all the criteria necessary for its elevation to a developing country in the year 2018.
      • Therefore the United Nations has recommended graduation of Bangladesh from the category of Least Developed Country.
      • Once it receives the final recommendation, Bangladesh will formally graduate to the developing nation bracket in the year 2026.
    • More than Strategic Partners
      • Both countries relations transcend strategic partnership, and bonding of both the countries is central to the realisation of a dream of a peaceful, prosperous and progressive South Asia.
    • Continued Interaction During Covid-19
      • Despite the coronavirus pandemic, interactions and consultations continued unabated such as:
        • India and Bangladesh had a Virtual Summit in December 2020.
        • A Joint Consultative Commission between the two Foreign Ministers in September 2020.
    • Teesta Issue
      • Both countries would have a meeting of Water Resources secretaries to discuss the Teesta issue.
    • Development of Connectivity
      • India is keen to focus on the development of connectivity with Bangladesh and beyond for next twenty years to change the region’s geo-economic scenario.
    • Bangladesh Central to India’s Policies
      • Bangladesh was central to India’s Neighbourhood First’ policy and increasingly relevant to the country’s Act East Policy.
      • Bangladesh as a key neighbour and a valued partner not only in South Asia but also in the broader Indo-Pacific region.
    • Progress on Ground Situation
      • Practical progress has been made on the ground.
        • Conducting a trial run of container cargo through Chattogram port to Agartala.
        • Adding two new protocol routes to inland waterways connecting Tripura to the national waterways.
        • Handing over 10 broad gauge locomotives.
        • Forming a Joint venture in the energy sector.

Ahead

  • A year after the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019-National Register of Citizens issue strained the robust ties between the countries, quiet diplomacy appears to have worked. India must keep up the partnership that allows for economic growth and improved developmental parameters for both countries.
  • Deepening relationship with Bangladesh has become a necessity in the face of shifting geo-economics. Bangladesh, with its growing economic success provides a vital partnership in the region.
    • The two countries share 54 transboundary rivers, and water management is the key to prosperity.
  • The Bilateral relations between the countries have reached a stage of maturity. There is scope for India-Bangladesh ties to move to the next level, based on cooperation, coordination and consolidation.
  • It is important to address specific issues like Teesta and to respond to Dhaka’s call for help on the Rohingya issue.

India-Bangladesh External Affairs Minister Bilateral Meeting India-Bangladesh External Affairs Minister Bilateral Meeting