External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar met Bangladesh Prime Minister M. Sheikh Hasina on the 4th of March during his official visit to Dhaka. Dr. Jaishankar was a day-long visit to prepare the ground for Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Bangladesh later this month to participate in the celebrations of 50th anniversary of Bangladesh’s Independence and 50 years of Bangladesh-India diplomatic relations. This would the Prime Minister Modi’s first overseas visit since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic last year.
According to officials at the Indian High Commission in Dhaka, Dr. Jaishankar called on the Bangladeshi Prime Minister at Ganobhaban, the official residence of the Prime Minister of Bangladesh.
In gesture of that conveyed deep emotional and historic ties that the two countries shared having fought the Bangladesh Liberation War together 50 years ago, the Indian External Affairs Minister presented the Bangladeshi Prime Minister with with two books on Bangladesh written by his late father K Subrahmanyam, one of India’s foremost international affairs analyst and strategic thinker.
“These are amongst the first books written on Bangladesh in early 1972. He would’ve been proud to see Bangladesh’s remarkable progress,” Jaishankar said in another tweet that has been widely shared on social media.
Prime Minister Hasine too reciprocated the EAM’s gesture by presenting him seven volumes of pre-independence period Secret Documents of the Pakistani Intelligence Branch. Documents that could be pricelss for Indian academics and historians
Dr. Jaishankar also met with Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister A.K. Abdul Momen. During his meeting with Momen, the EAM held wide-ranging discussions on ways to take forward the bilateral relations.
At a joint press conference following the meeting, Foreign Minister Momen said: “I would also like to express our admiration and pride, as your closest neighbour and friend. We are very pleased that Prime Minister Modi will join us for the Mujib Borsho celebrations as well as the Golden Jubilee of Bangladesh’s independence and 50 years of Bangladesh-India diplomatic relations. This is a landmark year for our two countries. We discussed some of the important activities that we plan to undertake jointly to celebrate these historic occasions.”
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s planned visit to Dhaka later this month will surely be a very memorable one,” said Dr. Jaishankar, and he described India’s strategic ties with Bangladesh as a truly “360 degree partnership”. “May all your dreams come true and I can assure you that India will always be there by your side, as a reliable friend.” He also tweeted,”Our relationship is so broad & our comfort level so high that there is no domain today that is left untouched. It is a truly a 360 degree partnership.”