Jaishankar to travel to Bangladesh early next month to prepare ground for PM Modi's visit

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New Delhi, Feb 17 (PTI) External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar is expected to travel to Bangladesh on March 4 to prepare the ground for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's upcoming visit to that country to further broadbase bilateral ties, people familiar with the development said.

In Dhaka, Jaishankar is scheduled to hold talks with his Bangladeshi counterpart AK Abdul Momen on a range of bilateral and regional issues, they said.

Modi is likely to pay a two-day visit to Bangladesh beginning March 26 to participate in the 50th anniversary celebrations of the liberation of Bangladesh, the people said.

Bangladesh Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen visited India last month during which both sides extensively deliberated on Modi's visit to Dhaka.

The two sides also reviewed progress in the bilateral relationship, including in the areas of defence and security, border management, trade, connectivity, power, energy and cooperation in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

The ties between India and Bangladesh have witnessed a major upswing in the last few years.

At a virtual summit with his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina in December, Modi described the neighbouring country as a 'key pillar' of India's 'Neighbourhood First' policy.

In reflection of close ties, India is also hosting a number of events to mark the 50th anniversary of the 1971 war that led to liberation of Bangladesh.

Around 93,000 Pakistani troops had surrendered before the joint forces of the Indian Army and the 'Mukti Bahini' on December 16, 1971 that led to the birth of Bangladesh. PTI MPB KJ KJ