Indian Foreign Secretary Shringla arrives in Dhaka for two-day trip

Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla has arrived in Dhaka for a two-day trip in preparation for the Indian president’s visit to Bangladesh.

He was welcomed at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport on Tuesday by Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen.

Shringla, a former Indian high commissioner to Dhaka, kicked off the visit with bipartisan talks with Masud Bin Momen.

“We have had a wide-ranging discussion on many issues of our common interest and have found no major differences in our views. Now we must progress further on those fronts,” he said after an hour-long bilateral meeting with Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen at the Foreign Services Academy in Dhaka on Tuesday.

“We are looking into how we can work together on forward facing areas like green energy, renewable energy, digital cooperation and areas that involve the future and younger generations, which can create empowerment and opportunities for the people of both countries.”

He said Bangladesh is an example of a successful country that has done remarkably well to hold over 8% GDP growth for the past ten years.

“Both India and Bangladesh are having a golden period under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his counterpart Sheikh Hasina, respectively,” Shringla said.

“We are doing very well in the connectivity sector as well. A total of five pre-1965 rail connections have already been restored, and a sixth will be operational in 2022.”

Shringla also spoke on issues tied to trade, border conflicts and cooperation to combat the coronavirus pandemic and the emergence of any new variants.

“Neither Bangladesh nor India will not be safe if the other is in danger. This applies to all countries around the world at the moment. The only way to fight the COVID-19 pandemic is through the cooperation.”

Shringla will meet with Minister of Foreign Affairs AK Abdul Momen in the afternoon.

Shringla is also scheduled for a meeting with Minister of Road Transport and Bridges Obaidul Quader.

On Wednesday, Shringla is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Shringla’s visit will help pave the way for the visit of Indian President Ram Nath Kovind from Dec 15 to Dec 17, according to a statement from the Indian Ministry of External Affairs.