Dhaka, Aug 18 (PTI) Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla arrived here on Tuesday on a brief visit to Bangladesh aimed at boosting ties between the two neighbouring countries.
An Indian Air Force plane carrying Shringla landed at Dhaka Airport at around 11.30 am (local time) on Tuesday, Bangladeshi media reported.
This is Shringla's second visit to Bangladesh after he took office as the foreign secretary. Earlier, he visited Bangladesh in March.
According to media reports, Shringla is expected to call on Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to convey a 'special message' from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The visit is aimed at strengthening the ties between the two countries.
Hasina is expected to have a courtesy meeting with Shringla at Ganabhaban, her official residence. Shringla is likely to meet Bangladesh Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen and his counterpart Masud Bin Momen.
'He is expected to have bilateral talks with our foreign secretary Masud Bin Momen on Wednesday,' a Bangladesh foreign ministry official said.
Both Bangladesh foreign office and the Indian high commission apparently preferred to keep the visit as a low-key affair amid reports that this is Shringla’s first overseas tour since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
'Foreign Secretary of India is on a visit to Dhaka from August 18-19, 2020 to discuss and take forward cooperation on matters of mutual interest,” the Indian High Commission said in a statement without elaboration.
A diplomatic source here indicated that the Indian foreign secretary will discuss ways to strengthen the bond between the two countries in the days to come, The Dhaka Tribune reported.
India recently described its relationship with Bangladesh as 'exceptionally close', but expressed displeasure over 'mischievous' stories pertaining to Bangladesh-India ties, the paper said.
Bangladesh Foreign Minister Momen has described Bangladesh-India ties as a 'blood relationship' and Bangladesh-China relations as 'economic ties,' it said. PTI AR/MRJ AKJ ZH ZH