He had a meeting with his Indian counterpart S Jaishankar in Guwahati on Friday evening and discussed issues of mutual interest. Later, they decided to defer the meeting of the JCC.

The JCC will be co-chaired by Momen and Jaishankar.

The two foreign ministers met in Dhaka last month and stressed on following up the decisions taken at the highest level for their effective implementation for mutual benefit.

The sixth meeting of the JCC was held on 29 September, 2020. Although Dhaka was scheduled to host the meeting, the meeting was held on a virtual platform due to Covid-19 pandemic.

Bangladesh and India noted that 2021 was a landmark year for their relationship as the president and the prime minister of India visited Bangladesh in a single year. The countries celebrated the 50th years of diplomatic ties through the joint celebration of a number of landmark events across the world.

Prime minister Sheikh Hasina is likely to visit India this year.

Meanwhile, chief minister of Assam Himanta Biswa Sarma has lauded prime minister Sheikh Hasina for her government’s “zero tolerance policy” to terrorism and insurgency.

He made the remarks on Friday during his meeting with foreign minister Momen in Guwahati, capital of Assam.

Momen, in response, said the development of Bangladesh and India are complementing each other and many Indians are working in Bangladesh.

Bangladesh is the fourth largest remittance sending country to India, he said.

He mentioned the traditional linkage between the people of Assam and Sylhet.

He noted Bangladesh and India are enjoying the best of their relations under the able leadership of prime minister Sheikh Hasina and prime minister Narendra Modi.

Momen underscored that Assam could take advantage of Bangladesh’s dynamic socio-economic growth, both as a market for their products and also as a source of quality products at a competitive price, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

He emphasised enhancing trade and commerce between the two countries and promoting tourism. Further, he suggested that river transportation could be an effective means for amplifying bilateral trade.

Foreign minister Momen had the meeting with the chief minister of Assam at Koinadhara State Guest House, Khanapara.

During the meeting, Momen gratefully acknowledged that Assam and India occupy a special place in his heart, as he took shelter in Assam in 1971 during the Liberation War of Bangladesh.

He informed that Bangladesh is in the process of extending 200 scholarships for the family members of the war veterans from India who fought for the liberation of Bangladesh in 1971.

Momen recalled the visit of the president and prime minister of India to Bangladesh in 2021 to join the epochal events Bangladesh celebrated; Golden Jubilee of Independence of Bangladesh and Birth Centenary of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

On 6 December 2021, Bangladesh and India jointly celebrated the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations as “Maitri Diwas” in 18 selected capitals across the globe in addition to Dhaka and New Delhi.

Sarma stressed that Assam is keen to engage with Bangladesh for the common benefit of the two peoples through promotion of trade, commerce, connectivity and cultural activities.

He appreciated the recent pace of economic development in Bangladesh under the dynamic and visionary leadership of prime minister Sheikh Hasina.

He praised the success of the government of Bangladesh in dealing with Covid-19 pandemic.

Sarma recalled the significant role of railway connectivity with Chattogram port city in trade during the British period.

The chief minister informed that Assam is developing advanced medical and education institutions and can be a destination for the people of Bangladesh for medical treatment and study purposes.

Momen also attended a dinner hosted by the CM of Assam and external affairs minister S Jaishankar where a number of ministers from the centre and states along with Ambassadors from ASEAN countries were present.

Momen arrived in Guwahati on Friday to attend the third edition of Natural Allies in Development and Interdependence (NADI) to be held from 28-29 May 2022.

During his visit to Guwahati, he is also expected to call on the governor of Assam and hold an interactive session with the members of the business community.

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