India assures Bangladesh of support for speedy return of Rohingyas

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Sushma Swaraj

New Delhi– India on Friday assured Bangladesh of its continued support for “safe, speedy and sustainable” return of Rohingyas to Rakhine region of Myanmar and expressed its appreciation for the humanitarian gesture of Bangladesh in supporting a large number of such displaced persons.

The assurance was given by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj at the Fifth Joint Consultative Commission (JCC) meeting co-chaired by her and her Bangladesh counterpart A.K. Abdul Momen here.

The two Ministers reaffirmed that the relationship between India and Bangladesh, forged in the 1971 Liberation War, goes far beyond a strategic partnership and it today anchored in history, culture, language and shared values of democracy, secularism, development cooperation and other commonalities.

The two countries signed three MoUs including on mid-career training of 1800 Bangladesh civil servants, on cooperation in the field of medicinal plants between AYUSH and the Ministry of Health of Bangladesh. A MoU was also signed between CBI and Anti-Corruption Commission of Bangladesh.

Momen, who had called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday, conveyed the greetings of Sheikh Hasina, and her appreciation for Modi being the first foreign leader to congratulate her upon the victory of the Awami League in Bangladesh’s parliamentary elections in December 2018.

Modi reaffirmed “India’s abiding commitment to remain Bangladesh’s most committed partner for security and development.”

Modi also conveyed his good wishes to his Bangladeshi counterpart for her success in this third consecutive term in office.

During the JCC meeting, Sushma Swaraj and Momen also expressed satisfaction that both countries were “working closer than ever before” in every sector, from security and border management to mutually-beneficial trade and investment flows, power and energy, river water sharing, development partnership, transport connectivity, culture, people-to-people contacts.

“The External Affairs Minister expressed appreciation for the humanitarian gesture of Bangladesh in supporting a large number of displaced persons from the Rakhine region of Myanmar and assured the Foreign Minister of India’s continued support for safe, speedy and sustainable return of the displaced persons to Myanmar,” said a joint press release issued after the meeting.

Momen conveyed gratitude of Bangladesh government for the humanitarian assistance provided by India in four tranches since September 2017 to help meet the requirements of the displaced persons from Myanmar.

“The two ministers agreed on the need to expedite safe and sustainable repatriation of the displaced people from Rakhine State of Myanmar,” the release said.

The ministers tasked their accompanying officials to develop a forward looking roadmap for bilateral cooperation “to make the partnership irreversible.”

They said that partnership-building efforts should be enhanced in a manner commensurate with commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Bangladesh’s Liberation.

The ministers discussed the gamut of bilateral issues of mutual interest and implementation of decisions taken earlier.

They said the relationship was now broadening to include new and high technology areas for partnership, such as space, nuclear energy, IT and electronics.

An MoU was also signed between Hiranandani Group and Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority to facilitate investments in the Indian Economic Zone in Mongla.(IANS)

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