Wed, 04 October 2023
The Daily Ittefaq

No issue on Bangladesh's next polls discussed in Hasina-Modi talks

Update : 09 Sep 2023, 13:45

No issue related to Bangladesh's upcoming national election was discussed in the bilateral meeting between Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, said Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen while replying to a query in the media briefing.

He said, "There was no discussion between the two prime ministers regarding the upcoming general elections in Bangladesh and the Indo-Pacific issue", reports BSS.

Momen said that no one wants instability in the region, including Bangladesh.

He said that the people of Bangladesh don't want to go back to the bad times after 2001 when the BNP-Jamaat alliance government championed in corruption for five times, created militancy, bombed across the country, made grenade attack on 21 August, and bombed judges in the courtroom.

The foreign minister, however, said that he didn't know whether the matter of election came or not during the tete-a-tete of the two head of the governments of the two neighbouring countries at the bilateral meeting held in the residence of Indian prime minister.

The premier arrived here in the afternoon to attend the G20 Summit-2023 at the invitation of Indian Premier Narendra Modi.

Mentioning that the Awami League government has confidence in the people, Momen said that the common people and businessmen of the country are happy with the various steps taken by the present government.

In response to another question, he said that if anyone tries to rig the next general election, the people will resist.

In response to a question about BNP's demand for elections under a caretaker government, the foreign minister said that there is no caretaker government in the constitution of Bangladesh and it is not a matter of discussion.

He said that everyone should be committed to conduct the upcoming general elections in a neutral, credible and fair and violence-free manner.

According to a media release of Indian External Affairs Ministry, in the bilateral meeting, the two leaders discussed the entire gamut of bilateral cooperation including political and security cooperation, border management, trade and connectivity, water resources, power and energy, development cooperation, cultural and people to people ties.

It said that current developments in the region and cooperation in the multilateral fora were also discussed.

The leaders welcomed the operationalization of the Agreement on the use of the Chattogram and Mongla Ports and commissioning of the India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline.

They also expressed appreciation for operationalization of settlement of bilateral trade in INR and encouraged the business community on both sides to utilize the mechanism.

They looked forward to beginning of negotiations on the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), covering trade in goods, services, and protecting and promoting investment.

Expressing satisfaction at the implementation of development cooperation projects, they looked forward to the joint inauguration of following projects at a convenient date later which are Agartala-Akhaura Rail Link, Unit-II of the Maitri Power Plant and Khulna-Mongla Rail Link.

They welcomed the exchange of following MoUs for strengthening bilateral cooperation: MoU on Cooperation in Digital Payment mechanisms between National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and Bangladesh Bank, MoU on renewal of the Cultural Exchange Program (CEP) between India and Bangladesh for 2023-2025 as well as MoU between Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and Bangladesh Agriculture Research Council (BARC).

With regard to the regional situation, Prime Minister Modi expressed appreciation of the burden shouldered by Bangladesh in hosting over a million persons displaced from Rakhine State in Myanmar, and conveyed India's constructive and positive approach to support solutions towards safe and sustainable repatriation of the refugees.

State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam, Foreign Secretary (Senior Secretary) Masud Bin Momen and Prime Minister Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim, among others, were present at the media briefing.

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