Riva Ganguly says Shringla met Hasina with ‘special message’ of cooperation

Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla has met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina during his brief and “unofficial” visit to Dhaka.

Staff Correspondentbdnews24.com
Published : 18 August 2020, 07:01 PM
Updated : 18 August 2020, 07:17 PM

He conveyed New Delhi’s “special message” of mutual cooperation during the meeting, Indian High Commissioner Riva Ganguly Das told journalists at a briefing on Tuesday night.

The meeting lasted for about one hour from 7:30pm at Hasina’s official residence the Ganabhaban.

Shringla, a former high commissioner in Dhaka, came to meet Hasina on a “sort of unofficial visit” amid the pandemic because Bangladesh and India have “a special and close relationship”, Riva Ganguly said.

Hasina and Shringla discussed ways to strengthen cooperation for recovery of the two economies from the COVID-19 crisis, the high commissioner said.

Hasina welcomed Shringla’s visit, said Riva Ganguly.

It is Shringla’s second visit to Dhaka this year. He visited Bangladesh in March after becoming foreign secretary in January.

He is scheduled to hold a bilateral meeting with his Bangladesh counterpart Masud Bin Momen on Wednesday.

He is also likely to meet Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen during the two-day visit.

Earlier on Tuesday, Masud said they would discuss the trial of Oxford University’s COVID-19 vaccine, millions of doses of which will be produced by India’s Serum Institute if successful in tests, in Bangladesh.

He refused to call Shringla’s visit “sudden” amid speculations about the topics to be discussed during the tour.

Asked if Shringla’s visit is related to recent reports on Bangladesh’s relations with India, Pakistan and China, Masud asked the media not to stop speculate.

“But we will discuss the speculative reports [to ensure] that we don’t find these credible. We will discourage such reports,” he said.

The Indian High Commission said in a statement that Shringla has come to “discuss issues of mutual interests and take forward bilateral cooperation.”