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Rajnath calls on Bangladeshi PM, discusses issues of mutual concern


Dhaka, July 14: Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday held an "extremely fruitful" meeting with Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina during which the two leaders discussed issues of mutual concern, including the menace of terrorism. Singh arrived here on Friday on a three-day visit.

Photo credit: PTI

"Had an extremely fruitful meeting with the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina in Dhaka today. We discussed a range of bilateral and regional issues of mutual interest," Singh tweeted after his meeting with Hasina at her official residence.

"It is possible to uproot militancy and terrorism if all the countries in the region join their hands," Singh told Hasina.

According to a Bangladesh prime minister's office spokesman Singh also told the prime minister, without naming any country, that the expected collaborative actions were not possible due to some nations in the region.

During the meeting, Hasina said that Bangladesh and India have so far settled several outstanding issues, including the land and boundary agreement, through dialogue.

"We expect that the other issues will be sorted out through talks as well," she added.

Hasina reiterated Bangladesh's stand of not allowing its soil to be used by terrorists to carry out their activities against any other country.

After his meeting with Hasina, Singh along with his Bangladeshi counterpart Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal inaugurated the largest Indian visa centre in the world at Dhaka's Jamuna Future Park.

The new integrated state-of-the-art Indian Visa Application Centre (IVAC), spread in an 18,500 square feet commercial area, will replace all the existing centres (Motijheel, Uttara, Gulshan and Mirpur Road) in Dhaka in two phases.

"The new facility would replace all four existing visa centres in different parts of the (Bangladesh) capital and it will be the lone visa centres to receive applications without any prior appointments," the Indian High Commission in Dhaka said in a statement.

Bangladeshis constitute one of the largest number of visitors from a single country to India. Last year, India had issued 1.4 million visas to Bangladeshi nationals, BD News reported.

Five Bangladeshi citizens were issued visas of different categories to mark the opening of the centre, which has 48 counters and other facilities, including food shops.

"The location of the new IVAC inside a spacious and secure shopping mall is expected to provide comfortable and seamless visa services to applicants and is expected to reduce waiting time considerably," the statement said.

During his visit, Singh will co-chair the 6th India-Bangladesh home minister-level talks tomorrow, along with his Bangladeshi counterpart Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal.

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