India, Bangladesh likely to sign three MoUs during PM Modi's visit

India, Bangladesh likely to sign three MoUs during PM Modi's visit

PM Modi is attending the golden jubilee celebrations of Bangladesh independence

India and Bangladesh are likely to sign three MoUs during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Dhaka next week to attend the celebrations of the golden jubilee of the country's independence and the birth centenary of its founder ‘Bangabandhu’ Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

Prime Minister Modi and heads of state and government from Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and the Maldives will be among the distinguished foreign guests to join the celebrations under separate schedules.

"It’s a historic event for Bangladesh as five heads of state and government never (without any summit) visited here within a time span of 10 days," Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen told a media briefing here ahead of the 10-day celebrations starting on March 17.

"This is a very unusual time (due to Covid-19)… but heads of state and government of our neighbouring countries are coming here to show their tribute to our Father of the Nation," Momen said.

During his trip, Prime Minister Modi will hold talks with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and visit three places outside Dhaka.

The two sides are expected to sign three MoUs, Momen said.

"These (MoUs) are not final yet," he said.

Likely MoUs in disaster management

Foreign Secretary Masud bin Momen said the MoUs were likely to be signed in the field of disaster management and cooperation between some institutions of the two countries.

"We are still working on every MoUs. We will get the final scenario regarding the MoUs within one or two days," he said.

According to the schedule, all the foreign leaders would visit the National Memorial in Savar to pay homage to the independence martyrs, Bangabandhu Museum at Dhanmondi 32 to pay tribute to Bangladesh’s founding father, watch special military parades and join State banquets.

Prime Minister Modi is also set to visit the Bangabandhu shrine at his village home in Tungipara and two Hindu temples outside Dhaka - one in Gopalganj and the other in southwestern Satkhira.

The temples are places of worship, particularly of the Hindu Matua community. A large number of the Matua community members reside in West Bengal.

Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih will be the first top foreign dignitary to arrive here on a three-day visit on March 17. He will be followed by Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa who will arrive here on a two-day tour on March 19.

Nepalese President Bidya Devi Bhandari will be in Dhaka on a two-day tour from March 22 while Bhutan’s premier Lotay Tshering will visit Dhaka from March 24 to 25. Prime Minister Modi will arrive here on March 26 and return home the next day.

Momen said Chinese President Xi Jinping, French President Emmanuel Macron, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and Canadian Premier Justin Trudeau and some high-level leaders of different countries and international organisations would send video messages on the occasion.

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