December 3, 2023

Diplomatic Correspondent: India has assured Bangladesh of extending its cooperation for importing hydropower from Nepal and Bhutan through India, said Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen Wednesday.

Talking to reporters at the Foreign Service Academy, he said they also discussed the “practical problem” in terms of transmission lines inside Bangladesh as there is a need for expanding the transmission network and boosting its capacity.

Masud, who held foreign office consultations (FOCs) with Indian counterpart Vinay Kwatra, said India will help Bangladesh if any specific project is taken for expanding the transmission network and boosting its capacity within Bangladesh to supply electricity smoothly.

Bangladesh will also explore whether Indian lines of credit (LoCs) can be used if any specific project is taken in consultation with the relevant ministry for the expansion of transmission lines inside Bangladesh.

Meanwhile, Nepal’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation, Rajendra Lingden Tuesday in a meeting with the Indian foreign secretary discussed matters of mutual interests, including cooperation in the energy and water resources sector.

During the FOCs, Kwatra and Masud had wide-ranging discussions covering all aspects of Bangladesh-India ties.

Both sides agreed to further strengthen their ongoing cooperation, in diverse areas, including the India-funded concessional LoCs, trade and investment, connectivity, power and energy, defence and security, and people-to-people ties.

Kwatra concluded his official visit to Bangladesh Wednesday evening.

During the visit, the Indian foreign secretary called on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and conveyed the Indian prime minister’s message of the country’s continued commitment to the bilateral relationship, upholding Bangladesh as the pivot of India’s “Neighbourhood First Policy’ and a key partner of “Act East Policy.”

The foreign secretary also called on Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen and conveyed the greetings of the external affairs minister.

The two sides agreed to enhance their cooperation and consultations on regional and international issues of shared interest.

In this context, India looks forward to active participation of Bangladesh as the “guest country” at various events during India’s presidency of G-20.

Both sides also agreed to extend reciprocal support to each other’s upcoming candidature for non-permanent membership of the UN Security Council.

In recent years, especially in the last decade, Bangladesh and India have sustained a high level of engagement, including at the leaders’ level.

The visit of India’s Foreign Secretary helped further strengthen the multifaceted partnership between the two countries, reinforced their time-tested ties and provided an opportunity to comprehensively review progress in the bilateral relationship, said the Indian side.

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