Foreign minister to fly to New Delhi on maiden official trip | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 02, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:52 AM, February 02, 2019

Foreign minister to fly to New Delhi on maiden official trip

Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen will travel to New Delhi, India on February 7-8 for a high-level meeting with his counterpart Sushma Swaraj, where the two countries will discuss a variety of issues ranging from water-sharing to intense security cooperation.

Momen, during his maiden overseas trip as the foreign minister, will co-chair the fifth meeting of the India-Bangladesh Joint Consultative Commission (JCC) with the Indian Minister of External Affairs, Swaraj.

During the visit, the foreign minister is expected to meet Indian leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Officials of both sides are working on the details of the visit and agenda for discussion.

Foreign ministry officials said Momen will lead a big delegation and almost all senior officials and director generals will accompany him to take part in the comprehensive discussions.

The last JCC meet was held in Dhaka on October 22-23, 2017 when Swaraj led the Indian delegation.

This year's JCC -- scheduled to be held on February 8 -- will discuss a host of issues like trade and investment, security, connectivity, border management, defence cooperation, energy, shipping, and people-to-people exchanges.

A diplomatic source in Dhaka yesterday told The Daily Star that major issues like Teesta river water-sharing deal and killings of Bangladeshi nationals at the border by Indian security force will also come up for discussion.

Foreign ministry officials said though the two countries at the last JCC meeting agreed that BBIN Motor Vehicle Agreement would be implemented between Bangladesh, India and Nepal [BIN] through exchange of letters, keeping the provision for Bhutan to join in later, the MVA is yet to be operated due to complexities. On the other hand, the Bhutanese parliament did not approve the agreement that apparently stalled the initiative.

At the JCC meeting, both sides are expected to discuss common challenges that the two countries face, like terrorism and radicalisation. Both sides will reiterate strong commitment to not allow the use of their land against each other's interest and zero tolerance against terrorism.

The two countries will also put emphasis on bringing down the number of deaths at the borders to zero.

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