Dhaka: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Bangladeshi counterpart Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali on Sunday co-chaired the India-Bangladesh Joint Consultative Committee meeting and ‘reviewed’ various aspects of ‘bilateral relations’.
“Our discussions today in the course of the 4th JCC have been extremely useful. Even more important is the atmosphere of trust and understanding in which we carried out our discussions. We discussed the common challenges that we are faced with today. One such challenge is that of terrorism, extremism and radicalisation and we will continue to fight this scourge together and along with other like-minded countries. We are both determined to protect our societies from the 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,” Swaraj said.
She added, “We also discussed various aspects of our bilateral relations and reviewed progress on key initiatives and decisions, including those taken during the recent visit of PM of Bangladesh to India. We are satisfied with progress achieved in areas such as trade and investment, security, connectivity, border management, power, energy, shipping, people to people exchanges, to name a few.”
On issue of Rohingya refugee crisis the EAM said, “India is deeply concerned at the spate of violence in Rakhine state of Myanmar. We have urged that the situation be handled with restraint, keeping in mind the welfare of the population. It is clear that normalcy will only be restored with the return of the displaced persons to Rakhine state. In our view, the only long term solution to the situation in Rakhine State is rapid socio-economic and infrastructure development that would have a positive impact on all the communities living in the state.”
According to the UN office in Bangladesh, over 600,000 Rohingyas have entered the country since August 25 after the Myanmar Army launched a crackdown on the minority community following a series of attacks on security personnel in Rakhine state.
India has provided relief material to Bangladesh to deal with the crisis.
This is Swaraj’s second visit to Bangladesh as External Affairs Minister and comes after the visit of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to India in April this year.
— Raveesh Kumar (@MEAIndia) October 22, 2017
(With Agency inputs)