Sushma Swaraj arrives in Dhaka

Aaron Brown
October 23, 2017

The Indian foreign minister last visited Bangladesh in 2014.

In her two-day-visit, she will also meet Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina.

Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Bangladeshi counterpart Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali on Sunday co-chaired the India-Bangladesh Joint Consultative Committee meeting here.

The visit is expected to afford an opportunity for review of the excellent bilateral relations between India and Bangladesh and further strengthening of these ties.

The Rohingya issue is likely to come up for discussion in both the meetings, a diplomatic source told UNB. "We will continue to fight this scourge together and along with other like minded countries.We are determined to protect our societies from threat of ideologies of hate, violence and terror by adopting a zero tolerance policy and a comprehensive approach in fighting violent extremism and terrorism at all levels".

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The indian external affairs minister will meet prime minister Sheikh Hasina at 6:00pm on the same day.

She, however, preferred not to use the word "Rohingya" and said "we have urged that the situation be handled with restraint, keeping in mind the welfare of the population". "Through this, we have supplied essential requirements by way of parboiled rice, dal, salt, sugar, cooking oil, tea, milk powder, mosquito nets and soap to about 3,00,000 displaced persons", she said. Dhaka has also sought assistance from India to de-escalate the crisis of the rising number of refugees in the country.

The latest string of violence in Myanmar's northwestern Rakhine state began on August 25 when Rohingya insurgents reportedly attacked various police posts and an army base.

India and Bangladesh have witnessed a deepening of bilateral economic cooperation in recent years, particularly in terms of increasing volumes of trade and investment flows.

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