India and Bangladesh will strengthen bilateral defence and security ties and are also likely to ink a number of pacts during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's two-day state visit to Dhaka, the Foreign Ministry said Wednesday.
Modi will visit Bangladesh on March 26-27 to attend the golden jubilee celebrations of the country's independence and the birth centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. The Indian PM is also slated to visit Gopalganj’s Tungipara area, Bangabandhu's birthplace.
“Both sides will be signing a range of agreements during Modi's visit. These agreements will be covering a number of areas of our cooperation -- disaster management, oceanography and trade," Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla told the media in New Delhi.
"A number of new announcements -- bolstering cooperation in areas ranging from health, railway connectivity, border development and start-ups -- are also expected to be made," he added.
Talks on bolstering defence and security cooperation between the two countries are also on the agenda of Modi's meeting with Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, according to the top Indian diplomat.
"Security and defence is an important part of our cooperation with Bangladesh. We have in recent years signed an agreement on defence cooperation with Bangladesh and undertaken joint military, training and capacity building exercises on a regular basis," Shringla said.
"It is a regular practice for chiefs of our armed forces to visit Bangladesh. We have excellent defence cooperation between our countries. As we go along, we will continue to add more and more depth and momentum to that relationship,” the Indian Foreign Secretary added.
On bilateral relations, Shringla said, "Ties between the two countries have no parallel. Indian soldiers had fought and were killed alongside Bangladeshis for independence."
India and Bangladesh share a 4,096-kilometre-long international border, the fifth-longest land border in the world. Both countries also share historical, civilisation and cultural ties.