Sushma Swaraj leaves for Bangladesh

New Delhi: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Sunday left for Dhaka on a two-day visit where she will participate in the India-Bangladesh Joint Consultative Committee meeting.

“External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj departs for Bangladesh to review the excellent bilateral relations and further strengthen ties,” ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar tweeted.

Sushma Swaraj’s visit to Dhaka comes after the very successful state visit of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to India in April this year.

According to a ministry statement, Sushma Swaraj and the Bangladesh Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali will co-chair the fourth meeting of the India-Bangladesh Joint Consultative Commission.

“The External Affairs Minister is expected to meet the Bangladeshi leadership and also interact with the representatives of leading Bangladeshi think tanks, chambers of commerce and industry and cultural organizations,” the statement said.

It added that “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”.

Sushma Swaraj’s visit also assumes significance because of the ongoing Rohingya refugee crisis in Bangladesh.

According to the latest figures issued by the UN office in Bangladesh, over 600,000 refugees have entered the country since August 25 after the Myanmar Army launched a crackdown on the minority Rohingya community following a series of attacks on security personnel in Rakhine state.

The Rohingyas do not enjoy citizenship status in Myanmar and are sparingly given refugee status in Bangladesh.

Since last month, India has been providing relief material to Bangladesh to deal with the crisis.

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