India and Bangladesh to hold virtual summit in December

India-Bangladesh bilateral summit is likely to be held in December. A final call in this regard will be taken during the foreign ministers’ meeting on Tuesday, sources tell India Today.

There is a possibility of the summit being a virtual one if the Covid-19 situation does not ease by the end of this year, sources said. In the case that the bilateral summit is held physically, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to travel to Dhaka to meet his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina.

Meanwhile, the sixth Joint Consultative Commission (JCC) at the foreign ministers’ level is slated to take place virtually on Tuesday. This meeting will be attended by External Affairs Minister (EAM) Dr S Jaishankar in New Delhi and his counterpart Dr AK Abdul Momen in Dhaka.

The two foreign ministers will review the entire spectrum of bilateral relations between India and Bangladesh. Substantial progress has been made in this regard in multiple areas despite the pandemic. The JCC is, in fact, a mechanism to overview the progress and substantial progress has been achieved between the two countries.

The date of the JCC meet was finalised during Foreign Secretary Harsh Shringla’s visit to Dhaka in August and a subsequent phone call with Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

According to sources, high-level visits are expected to be discussed during the JCC meet among a range of other issues.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was unable to visit Dhaka this year for the Mujib Barsho celebrations on account of the Covid-19 pandemic. Since the JCC is meeting during the celebrations, an announcement related to Mujib Barsho is expected, sources added.

Earlier, PM Modi in his inaugural address at the Mujib Barsho celebrations in March had said that Bangladesh’s founder Sheikh Mujibur Rahman is hailed as a “hero” in India too.

The year 2021 seems promising for India-Bangladesh relations since both sides will commemorate 50 years of the Bangladesh Liberation War in which India played a crucial role. Next year will also mark 50 years since India and Bangladesh established diplomatic ties.

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