India and Bangladesh have seen frequent bilateral high-level visits and exchanges in the recent past

In line with India’s Neighbourhood First policy under which the government is committed to developing friendly and mutually beneficial relations with all its neighbours, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will pay an official visit to Bangladesh and Bhutan from April 28-30.

During the visit, EAM Jaishankar will call on Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. In Bhutan, he will receive an audience with King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and call on Prime Minister Lotay Tshering.

On his Bangladesh visit, he will also hold discussions with Bangladesh Foreign Minister A K Abdul Momen, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Wednesday.

The forthcoming visit of EAM Jaishankar to Bangladesh may be seen in the context of frequent bilateral high-level visits and exchanges particularly as both sides commemorate 50 years of the establishment of diplomatic ties, the MEA stated. His last visit to Bangladesh was in March 2021.

EAM Jaishankar's visit to Bangladesh on March 4 last year reiterated Bangladesh’s centrality to India’s Neighbourhood First and Act East Policy.

Jaishankar had then held the country to be a key neighbor and valued partner of India not only in South Asia but also the broader Indo-Pacific region.

His visit had set the stage for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s historic visit to Bangladesh on March 26-27 to attend the 50th anniversary of Bangladesh’s independence being observed as Muji Borsho and 50 years of Bangladesh-India diplomatic relations.

Meanwhile, the External Affairs Minister will be Bhutan’s first high-level visitor from abroad since March 2020, reflecting the great importance both countries attach to this bilateral relationship, the MEA further said.

During the visit, the External Affairs Minister will receive an audience with His Majesty Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, the King of Bhutan; call on Lyonchhen Dr. Lotay Tshering, the Prime Minister of Bhutan; and meet his counterpart Lyonpo Dr. Tandi Dorji, the Foreign Minister of Bhutan.

India and Bhutan share a unique and time tested bilateral relationship, characterized by utmost trust, goodwill and mutual understanding, the MEA statement said.

During the visit, the two sides will discuss all issues of mutual interest, including the upcoming high-level exchanges, economic development and hydro-power cooperation, it mentioned.

In January this year, EAM Jaishankar had held a telephonic talk with his Bhutanese counterpart and exchanged New Year greetings. He had said then that the unique relationship between the two countries stands even stronger amidst the coronavirus challenge.