Swaraj Reaches Dhaka, Rohingya Crisis To Dominate Talks With B’desh


Dhaka: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj reached at Dhaka on a two-day official visit to attend the India-Bangladesh joint consultative commission meeting.

A special aircraft carrying the Sushma Swaraj landed at Bangladesh Air Force Base at around 1.45 pm (local time) today. She was received by Bangladesh counterpart AH Mahmood Ali.

Among other things, Sushma Swaraj will discuss the ongoing Rohingya crisis during her visit to Dhaka. Bangladesh has been seeking international support including India over Rohingya refugee issue.

According to international aid agencies and UNHCR, around 6 lakh Rohingya refugees, of whom 61 per cent are children, are staying in refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar following violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine province.

It is the second visit of Sushma Swaraj as the external affairs minister to Bangladesh. Bangladesh foreign ministry and the Indian High Commission in Dhaka have expressed hope that the visit will improve the excellent bilateral relations between India and Bangladesh and strengthened ties.

During her visit, Sushma Swaraj will lead the Indian delegation to Bangladesh and India Joint Consultative Commission (JCC) meeting that is scheduled for evening today at State Guest House Padma. Bangladesh Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali will lead Bangladesh delegation to the meeting, a foreign ministry spokesperson told to media.

The external affairs minister will inaugurate projects in sectors such as education, healthcare, Information Technology, water supply and social welfare. Sushma Swaraj will meet Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina later today at Ganabhavan. She will also meet Leader of Opposition in Parliament Raushon Ershad.

The two sides are working out a meeting with former Bangladesh PM and BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia as well. The meeting is likely to take place at Pan Pacific Sonargoan Hotel tonight.

During the visit, Sushma Swaraj will interact with the representatives of Bangladeshi think tank, chambers of commerce and industry and cultural organizations, said the Indian High Commission in Dhaka. Sushma Swaraj will return home tomorrow afternoon.