FS Shringla’s Dhaka visit: Covid situation, security cooperation discussed

harsh sringla
Harsh Vardhan Shringla (File)

New Delhi (NVI): India and Bangladesh had discussions on Covid-19 situation in both the countries and security cooperation to prevent trans-border crimes, during Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla’s visit to Dhaka, the Ministry of External Affairs said today.

During his two-day visit (Aug 18-19), the Foreign Secretary called on the Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday.

“Both sides discussed the COVID-19 situation. India has provided COVID related assistance to Bangladesh and has also been organizing capacity building courses for Bangladesh medical personnel following the video conference of the leaders of SAARC countries and the creation of the SAARC Emergency Response Fund for COVID-19. Bangladesh has committed US$ 1.5 million to the fund,” MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said during a virtual press briefing here.

During the meeting, the FS informed Hasina about India’s efforts towards COVID-19 vaccine development and distribution, Srivastava said, adding that both sides agreed to continue their discussions in the area of vaccines and therapeutics.

In addition to this, there were discussions relating to the cooperation in the areas of security, including fencing and joint efforts to prevent trans-border crimes. The issue of safe repatriation of internally displaced persons from the Rakhine state also came up for discussion, the MEA spokesman said.

Apart from that, India’s developmental assistance in Bangladesh as also the projects in the area of connectivity and power were discussed, MEA said.

“Several of these projects, including the Rampal Maitree Power Plant, India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline, and rail links between Akhaura-Agartala and Chilahati-Haldibari and Khulna-Mongla rail line are expected to get completed next year,” Srivastava said.

“It was proposed that the next meeting of the Joint Consultative Commission at the level of the Foreign Ministers should be convened shortly to review the entire gamut of bilateral relationship including the projects. It was also proposed that a high level monitoring mechanism be set up to regularly review the progress of the ongoing projects,” he added.

-ARK