Bangladesh and India have committed to taking the bilateral relations between the two countries to a higher level this year, mentioning that the year 2021 was a great year.
Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen had a meeting with his Indian counterpart S Jaishankar in Paris on Monday and discussed issues of bilateral interest.
They particularly talked about the preparations for the next Joint Consultative Commission (JCC) meeting.
Jaishankar invited his Bangladesh counterpart to co-chair the next round of the JCC meeting during the first half of the year, according to the foreign ministry.
The two ministers also stressed the need for concluding meetings of the relevant Joint Working Groups prior to the JCC meeting.
The sixth meeting of the JCC between the two countries was held on September 29, 2020. Although Dhaka was scheduled to host the meeting, due to the COVID-19 situation the meeting was held on a virtual platform.
"Noted that 2021 was a great year for the relationship. Committed to taking it to an even higher level in 2022," Jaishankar tweeted after the meeting.
He described the meeting with his Bangladesh counterpart Momen "good" and expressed happiness to hold the meeting amid International Mother Language Day.
Momen reiterated the importance of resolving the Teesta water sharing issue while his Indian counterpart reaffirmed his government’s principled position on the matter.
The two ministers also agreed to facilitate the ongoing discussions around the Kushiara river.
Momen urged India to remain engaged with the Rohingya humanitarian crisis, including in the latter’s capacity as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council.
The ministers also recalled the successful events held in 18 cities around the world to observe the "Maitri Dibosh" or Friendship Day on December 6 last year.
Momen is now visiting Paris to attend the Ministerial Forum for Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, scheduled to be held today (Tuesday).
Jaishankar and Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi as well as the Executive Vice-President of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans are scheduled to attend the Ministerial Forum.
The Forum is seen as an opportunity to showcase the European Union strategy for the region and develop tangible projects in this regard.
It will bring together Foreign Ministers of EU Member States and some 30 countries in the Indo-Pacific region, representatives of European institutions and representatives of the main regional organisations.
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Ministerial Forum’s objective
The Indo-Pacific region is of increasing strategic importance to the European Union and its Member States.
Its economic weight (it will soon account for 60% of global wealth) and demographic significance (three fifths of the world’s population), its increasing presence in current affairs and future geopolitical balances make it an essential space for Europeans.
There are considerable economic exchanges between Europe and the Indo-Pacific, which contribute to the prosperity of the European Union.
Through its Member States’ outermost regions in the Indian Ocean and overseas territories in the Pacific, the European Union is also part of this region, with which it has a closely-shared destiny.
Translating Europe’s desire for increased commitment to the region into action is one of the priorities of the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
This priority is in line with the publication of the EU Strategy for Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, which was endorsed by the European Council in October 2021.
This strategy includes seven priority areas for action, on which the French Presidency wanted to initiate dialogue with Indo-Pacific partners: Sustainable and inclusive prosperity; Green transition; Ocean governance; Digital governance and partnerships; Connectivity; Security and defence and Human security.
In this regard, the Ministerial Forum for Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific will be an opportunity to demonstrate the strength of the links between EU countries and those of the Indo-Pacific.