Dhaka: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday met his Bangladeshi counterpart A K Abdul Momen and held wide-ranging discussions on ways to take forward the bilateral relations.

As part of India’s “Neighbourhood First” policy, Jaishankar arrived here on a day-long visit to prepare the ground for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s upcoming visit to Bangladesh.

Foreign Minister Momen received Jaishankar at the Kurmitola air force base.

Jaishankar, who is visiting the country at the invitation of Momen, is also expected to call on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Momen and Jaishankar led their respective sides at a bilateral meeting held at a state guesthouse and took stock of the progress of relations between the two countries.

“EAM @DrSJaishankar held wide-ranging bilateral discussions with FM @AKAbdulMomen at State Guest House Padma,” the Indian High Commission in Dhaka said in a tweet.

The two leaders also discussed ways to take forward the bilateral relations.

Earlier, State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam on Tuesday highlighted the deepness of relations between Bangladesh and India, and mentioned that the country will host some important events from March 17-26 as part of the celebrations of 50th anniversary of the liberation of Bangladesh in 1971, the UNB new agency reported.

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Prime Minister Modi is likely to pay a two-day visit to Bangladesh beginning March 26 to participate in the celebrations of 50th anniversary of Bangladesh’s Independence and 50 years of Bangladesh-India diplomatic relations.

Prime Minister Hasina had thanked Modi for accepting her invitation to visit Bangladesh in March.

Alam on Tuesday had said that Bangladesh looks forward to Modi’s visit to take forward the bilateral relations with some deliverables, the report said.

Bangladeshi officials who are familiar with the visit said that during Modi’s visit, the two premiers were likely to flag off a direct passenger train service between Dhaka and New Jalpaiguri in West Bengal.

Hasina and Modi had held a virtual summit on December 17 when they jointly flagged off the train service between Haldibari and Chilahati.

Bangladesh Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen visited India in January during which both sides extensively deliberated on Modi’s visit to Dhaka.

Jaishankar’s visit to Bangladesh follows on the PM-level Virtual Summit in December last year and will also provide an opportunity to take stock of the progress in bilateral relations, the Ministry of External Affairs said in New Delhi on Wednesday.

Following the summit, the Indian side had said Prime Minister Modi will visit Bangladesh in March.

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

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