Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today embarked on a four-day visit to India which will see signing of at least 25 bilateral agreements including in key areas of civil nuclear cooperation and defence.
During her visit, which comes after a gap of seven years, Hasina will hold wide-ranging talks with her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi tomorrow during which India is also set to announce a line of credit of USD 500 million to Bangladesh for military supplies.
“The upcoming visit is expected to further expand the cordial and cooperative relationship between India and Bangladesh and build on the strong ties of friendship and trust between the two leaders,” a joint statement issued by the two countries said earlier.
Hasina will also call on President Pranab Mukherjee and meet opposition leader Sonia Gandhi. She will visit Ajmer on Sunday and will meet Indian business leaders on Monday.
She will also join a function at Manekshaw Centre to honour Indian Armed Forces members who embraced martyrdom in Bangladesh’s War of Liberation in 1971.
Diplomatic quarters of both sides expected that the reciprocal visit of the Bangladesh premier would take the Dhaka-New Delhi “historic relations” to a new height unveiling newer dimensions of cooperation in various sectors including trade and commerce, economy and connectivity.
It will be Hasina’s first bilateral visit to India in her current term as prime minister.
Ramping up cooperation in defence and security will be a major focus area of the talks between Modi and Hasina and apart from an MoU to provide USD 500 million credit, another pact is likely to be inked to formalise regular defence engagements.
Issues like combating terrorism, containing radicalism and enhancing security cooperation between the two countries are likely to figure prominently besides stalemate over the Teesta pact during talks between Modi and Hasina.
Liberation War Affairs minister AKM Mozammel Haque, Water Resources Minister Anisul Islam Mahmud, Law Minister Anisul Haque, Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali, the Premier’s Economic Affairs Advisor Moshiour Rahman and State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam are accompanying Hasina for the visit.