In his second term as Prime Minister, Narendra Modi will undertake a visit to Bangladesh and dates for it would be fixed through diplomatic channels. This was agreed when Modi called on Bangladesh President Abdul Hamid at the Hyderabad House here on Friday. “He (President Hamid) conveyed the invitation of the government of Bangladesh to (Indian) Prime Minister to visit that country, which was accepted with pleasure. The leaders agreed that dates would be decided through diplomatic channels,” said a statement issued by the Indian Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) on Friday night.
Modi’s next visit to Bangladesh would take place in keeping with his government’s ‘neighbourhood first’ policy under which he is also expected to travel to the Maldives and Sri Lanka between June 8 and 10. Modi had visited Bangladesh for the first time as Prime Minister in June, 2015 when the two countries signed an enabling agreement to implement the landmark Land Boundary Agreement (LBA) resolving an over four-decade-old irritant in bilateral relations.
“During the meeting, the leaders expressed great satisfaction at the excellent state of bilateral relations. The visiting President conveyed felicitations of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who was unable to travel in person because of a prior commitment,” it said. Prime Minister Modi noted that the bilateral relationship, forged in Bangladesh’s War of Liberation, remained of the highest priority to India.
“In the past five years, the two countries had demonstrated great maturity and patience in resolving a number of complex pending issues such as the demarcation of the land boundary. The Prime Minister emphasized the importance of India and Bangladesh raising ties to a new level as part of a joint effort to suitably commemorate the centenary of the birth of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (in 2020) and the 50th anniversary of Bangladesh’s Liberation, in 2021,” according to the statement. Hamid was in New Delhi to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Modi in which top leaders of all BIMSTEC countries were also present.