Pranab Mukherjee to visit Bangladesh on Dec 1

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New Delhi, Nov 28 (UNI) External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee will visit Bangladesh on December one during which he will meet Chief Advisor Dr Fakhruddin Ahmad and Foreign Advisor Dr Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhary.

The visit takes place two days after the Minister stated that India would continue to provide shelter and protection to Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen who is presently here at an undisclosed location amid tight security.

Announcing the visit, an External Affairs Ministry spokesman said the Minister would convey India's solidarity with the government and the people of Bangladesh affected by the November 15 devastating cyclone. He will also symbolically hand over a consignment of relief materials to Bangladesh authorities.

During the day-long visit, the Minister will meet Dr Ahmad and Dr Chowdhary the spokesman said.

The Minister will also survey some cyclone-affected areas and meet a cross-section of people about the ongoing relief efforts.

The spokesman said India would rush another consignment of essential food items including rice, wheat and milk powder worth Rs 100 crore to Bangladesh as relief for the victims of the cyclone which caused heavy loss of lives and widespread destruction.

India has been expeditiously delivering relief materials to Bangladesh consisting of medicines, tents, blankets, ready-to-eat meals and portable water purifiers.

India is also ''expeditiously'' sending essential food items including rice, wheat and milk powder to Bangladesh of a total value of nearly Rs 100 crore.

One such consignment of more than 9000 metric tonnes of rice had been sent to Bangladesh during Ramadhan.

''In a special dispensation, India has also waived the current ban on export of rice to Bangladesh allowing it to import 50,000 metric tonnes of rice from India,'' the spokesman added.

UNI

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