Bangladesh-India hold Consular Talks
Dhaka, 28 January 2021:
The 2nd Consular Dialogue between Bangladesh and India was held in New Delhi this morning. The Bangladesh delegation was led by Ambassador Mashfee Binte Shams, Secretary (East) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs while Indian delegation was led by Sanjay Bhattacharyya, Secretary (Consular, Passport & Visa and Overseas Indian Affairs), Ministry of External Affairs of India. The Bangladesh delegation included high level officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Home Affairs, Bangladesh Police, BGB and Prison authorities.
The entire gamut of bilateral consular issues were discussed in depth during the Dialogue. The agenda items included expeditious repatriation of each other’s nationals, particularly trafficked women and children, smooth facilitation of exit permits and expediting consular access. Bangladesh side sought Government of India’s attention on repatriation of the remaining members of Bangladeshi Tabligh Jamaat who are still under detention in India. Bangladesh side also emphasized on flexibilities in the visa regime and requested Indian side to address the difference in overstay fine structures applied by India. Besides, Indian side was also requested to ease registration requirements for Bangladeshi patients coming for treatment at various hospitals in India. Request to ease travel restrictions through all ports for Bangladeshi nationals was also reiterated by Bangladesh side. The two sides agreed to expedite the process of consular access, transfer of sentenced persons and visa related issues among others. Both sides reiterated their earlier commitments to share real time information on arrests and detention.
Both sides agreed that the Consular Dialogue is an important mechanism to further strengthen the people-centric approach which is at the core of the excellent ties between the two friendly countries. The Dialogue was held in a cordial atmosphere and leader of Bangladesh delegation invited the Indian side to Dhaka for the next round of Consular Dialogue at a mutually convenient date.
The first ever Consular Dialogue between Bangladesh and India was held in November 2017 in Dhaka.