NEW DELHI: The new Foreign Minister of Bangladesh AK Abdul Momen arrived in New Delhi late on Wednesday on a three-day official visit, his first after assuming office January 7. “I am visiting India on my maiden foreign tour to honour our great neighbor, the world’s greatest democracy,” the foreign minister said just before leaving Dhaka with a high-level delegation comprising secretaries of different ministries and department heads, who will take part in the 5th India-Bangladesh Joint Consultative Commission (JCC) meeting.
Noting that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had been the first foreign leader to greet his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina after her Awami League returned to power for the third consecutive term in the December 30 elections, he said that “we always find (India) them beside us in our crises.”Conceding that “We do have some issues as neighbours,” he was quick to note that “but by now we have amicably resolved several of them—like the major maritime boundary and the land boundary—and expect the others to be solved as well since we now enjoy the warmest-ever relations.”
“This is a sea change from the early 90s and early 2000, when the whole narrative in Dhaka was about bully India’s evil intentions and plans to subjugate Bangladesh,” said a former Indian diplomat, referring to periods when Khaleda Zia’s BNP ruled Bangladesh. Momen said, “Among other things, we want to consult with my counterpart about the early resolution of the Rohingya crisis as it may affect regional stability.”
Five pacts expected to be inked are between Bangladesh’s Anti Corruption Commission and India’s CBI; Bangladesh Television and Prasar Bharati; Dhaka’s health ministry and India’s AYUSH ministry and two for training Dhak’s civil servants and the setting up of Indian EPZ.