Foreign Secretaries of India and Bangladesh today concluded a very productive round of discussions, during which they covered the entire gamut of bilateral relations and other issues of mutual interest.
Sunday's meeting provided an opportunity for the two sides to prepare for the second meeting of the Joint Consultative Commission at the Foreign Ministers level.
The foreign secretaries - Ranjan Mathai and Mohammad Shahidul Haque also signed an MOU on Cooperation between the Foreign Service Institute of India and the Foreign Service Academy of Bangladesh.
Briefing media about the talks, Foreign Secretary Matha said India attaches the highest importance to its relations with Bangladesh, which he described as a close and friendly neighbour.
"Our regular and intensive engagement over the previous three years has led to significant progress in our bilateral cooperation encompassing a wide range of areas. The vision for such accelerated cooperation, based on the principles of equality, partnership and mutual benefit, has undoubtedly come from the landmark visits of the Prime Minister of Bangladesh to India in January 2010 and the Prime Minister of India to Bangladesh in September 2011," Mathai added.
Commenting specifically on the MoU, Mathai said he had no doubt that it would facilitate exchanges between the diplomatic services of our two countries.
"More importantly, it will enable recent entrants into the diplomatic services of India and Bangladesh to meet, exchange ideas and even learn from each other," he added.
"Let me conclude by saying that our two countries share similar values of democracy, free and open societies and systems. The unique cultural and historical linkages with similarities in developmental challenges call upon us to intensify our bilateral cooperation and work for the betterment and development of our two neighbouring countries," the Indian Foreign Secretary said.
Mathai later called on Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Foreign Minister Dipu Moni, and Ministers of Finance (Abul Maal A Muhith) and Local Government and Rural Development of Bangladesh (Syed Ashraful Islam). (ANI)