Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla called on Bangladesh's PM Sheikh Hasina

Dhaka: Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla on Wednesday called on Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and discussed the forthcoming state visit of President Ram Nath Kovind to Dhaka on the occasion of 50 years of Victory Day and Liberation of Bangladesh.

Mr Shringla, who arrived in Dhaka on a two-day official visit to review the wide-ranging cooperation between the two neighbours, also conveyed greetings of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to PM Sheikh Hasina on the 50th anniversary of Maitri Diwas or Friendship Day during the courtesy call on her at the premier's official residence 'Ganabhaban'.

"Foreign Secretary @harshvshringla called on PM Sheikh Hasina and conveyed greetings of PM @narendramodi on the 50th anniversary of #MaitriDiwas. Noted the successful joint celebration of #MaitriDiwas in 16 countries in addition to Delhi and Dhaka," the Indian High Commission in Bangladesh tweeted.

India and Bangladesh celebrated 'Maitri Diwas' on Monday, marking India recognising the newly-formed country of Bangladesh in 1971. The day was celebrated across 18 countries.

"Discussed forthcoming visit of Hon'ble President @rashtrapatibhvn on the occasion of 50 years of Victory Day & Liberation of Bangladesh," the mission said in another tweet.

President Kovind is expected to travel to Dhaka on a state visit from December 15 to 17.

According to the Bangladesh PMO spokesman, Shringla said there remained some small issues across the India-Bangladesh borders, which could be settled through holding meetings between Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and Border Security Force (BSF).

"Bangladesh and India have settled down all major issues and some small issues along the border between the two countries can be solved through holding meetings between BGB and BSF, (and) we want this issue to be resolved as well," he said.

The foreign secretary said normalcy was coming back to India after recovering from the setback of COVID-19 pandemic while the country was cautious against massive spread of the Omicron variant.

Mr Shringla thanked Dhaka for inviting President Kovind in the 50th Victory Day celebration program and termed it as a "special bond of friendship".

"Much progress has been made under the leadership of both the Prime Ministers of India and Bangladesh," he said.

The Foreign Secretary also said India will observe the commemoration of the birth centenary of Bangladesh's founding father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the Golden Jubilee of the country's Independence and 50th anniversary of establishment of Bangladesh-India diplomatic relation across the globe.

A joint photo exhibition on Bangabandhu by India and Bangladesh is expected to be held at the United Nations after the COVID-19 situation is improved.

PM Hasina recalled the days of her captivity with other family members during the liberation war and mentioned that Indian recognition of Bangladesh had overwhelmed them.

Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Vikram Kumar Doraiswami and Policy Adviser in the Ministry of External Affair Ashok Malik were also present in the meeting.

On Tuesday, Mr Shringla called on Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen during which they reviewed the wide-ranging and growing cooperation between the two countries, including cooperation in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mr Momen said several pending issues relating to bilateral ties including the border killings and water sharing, came up during their discussion.

Both sides in recent years dubbed existing Dhaka-New Delhi ties as a "golden chapter" of relations.

Mr Shringla also met his counterpart Masud Bin Momen on Tuesday and discussed progress in bilateral ties on all fronts. During their joint appearance before the media after the talks, Mr Shringla said there was no major difference in opinions regarding the bilateral pending issues between Bangladesh and India.

On his part, Mr Masud described their talks as "fruitful" and said they "discussed on how we can make our border peaceful" besides all the pending issues.

Mr Shringla said both the people of India and Bangladesh sacrificed their lives, their blood for the independence of Bangladesh. "This is very rare. We are proud of your victory, we are proud to be part of your celebration," he said.

He also called on Minister for Road Transport and Bridges and ruling Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader on Tuesday and discussed "our all-encompassing bilateral cooperation including connectivity. Reiterated importance of this special year jointly celebrating #MaitriDiwas," the Indian mission said in another tweet.