Prime Minister Narendra Modi is all set for a two-day visit (March 26-27, 2021) to Dhaka where he will be holding talks with his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina. Briefing the media persons in New Delhi ahead of the visit, Foreign Secretary Harsh V Shringla said “The expansion of Defence and Security is an important aspect of our relationship with Bangladesh. And, India will continue to add “more depth and momentum” in this aspect of our bilateral relations.”
India-Bangladesh Defence Agreement
In October 2019, both countries had inked a pact for setting up a joint coastal surveillance system. This has been set up to protect their strategic interests in the maritime domain. Under the pact, India has to set up around two dozen coastal surveillance radar stations.
Financial Express Online has reported earlier that both countries have been working towards deepening existing initiatives, including intelligence sharing, while simultaneously exploring new areas for cooperation. With a successful resolution of the maritime boundary between the two countries in 2014, security cooperation has also been extended to the maritime domain.
“Both countries have an agreement in place and have been conducting joint military exercises on a regular basis which focus on training and capacity building. Also, it is a regular practice for chiefs of our armed forces to visit Bangladesh,” the foreign secretary said.
According to Foreign Secretary Shringla, “Besides extending a $500 million Line of Credit to Bangladesh for defence imports from India, under army-to-army cooperation 18 new 120mm mortars have been given to the Bangladesh Army in December 2020.”