India, Bangladesh carry out comprehensive review of bilateral ties

Topics India | Bangladesh | bilateral ties

Bangladesh and India share a 4096-km-long border and a large section of it is porous.

A high-level mechanism to monitor implementation of development projects funded by India in Bangladesh will be put in place soon, the two countries said after a virtual ministerial meeting on Tuesday while reaffirming their commitment to finalise an interim agreement on sharing of Teesta river water.

The sixth meeting of the India-Bangladesh Joint Consultative Commission (JCC) also reiterated the importance of the safe, speedy and sustainable return to Myanmar of the forcibly displaced persons from the Rakhine State of that country who are being sheltered by Bangladesh, according to the Ministry of External Affairs.

The meeting, co-chaired by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his Bangladeshi counterpart A K Abdul Momen, carried out a comprehensive review of bilateral ties ahead of a virtual summit between prime ministers of the two countries in December.

On the Rohingya issue, a joint statement issued by the MEA said the Bangladesh foreign minister emphasised that unless the "problem is resolved quickly, there are possibilities of pockets of radicalism disrupting economic growth, peace and stability in the region, and requested India's leverage to address the crisis."

Recognising that terrorism remains a significant threat to global peace and security, both sides reiterated their strong commitment to eliminate it in all its forms and manifestations, it said.

In the talks, the two ministers noted that India and Bangladesh are currently the top two economies in South Asia and greater measures could be taken for mutually beneficial enhancement of trade and investment between the two countries, including the removal of all forms of barriers to trade.

The joint statement said both sides decided to form a high-level monitoring committee' headed by the economic relations secretary of Bangladesh and the Indian high commissioner in Dhaka to regularly review the progress of projects being implemented under India's Line of Credit to Bangladesh.

It sad the ministers also stressed on the need to further strengthen the implementation of the coordinated border management plan (CBMP) to effectively guard the frontier between the two countries.

"Both sides agreed that the loss of civilian lives at the border is a matter of concern and urged the concerned border forces to enhance coordinated measures to bring such border incidents down to zero," the statement said.

"The Indian side also requested for an expeditious approval to erecting the single row fencing in vulnerable patches along the border, within 150 yards, that will help contain border crimes," it added.

Bangladesh and India share a 4096-km-long border and a large section of it is porous.

According to the joint statement, the two ministers also reiterated their commitment to finalisation of the interim agreement for the sharing of waters of the Teesta river.

"They also underscored the need for early conclusion of framework of interim agreement on sharing of waters of six other joint rivers, namely, Manu, Muhuri, Khowai, Gumti, Dharla and Dudhkumar," it said.

The long-pending Teesta water-sharing deal was set to be inked during the then prime minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Bangladesh in September 2011 but was postponed at the last minute due to objections by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

During discussions on the coronavirus pandemic, Jaishankar reiterated India's priority to supply COVID-19 vaccines to Bangladesh while talking about the importance of the country in New Delhi's Neighborhood First' policy.

"In this context, the ministers directed their officials to expedite the exchange of required information regarding Phase-III testing, vaccine distribution, co-production and delivery in Bangladesh," the joint statement said.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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