The third edition of Consular Dialogues between India and Bangladesh was held on the 25th of July 2022 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The Indian delegation was led by Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, Secretary (Consular, Passport & Visa & Overseas Indian Affairs) while Amb. Mashfee binte Shams, Secretary (East) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, led the delegation from Bangladesh.
The entire range of bilateral talks was held during the Consular Dialogue. Both, India as well as Bangladesh are friendly bilateral partners and both sides held wide-ranging consultations on instruments to enhance coordination and cooperation on Consular issues. These discussions included the finalisation of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for repatriation of each other’s detained nationals including the smooth issuing of exit permits and granting consular access for a longer period, and early release of the detained fishermen.
Both the sides agreed that more intensive application of the provisions under the Revised Travel Arrangements (2018) and entry and exit norms between the two countries would enhance the ease of travel. The Revised Travel Arrangements of 2018 relate to visas issued for tourists, students and for business purposes, and the further liberalisation of visa procedures. Bangladesh also reiterated the request to ease travel limitations through all ports for their nationals. Both, India as well as Bangladesh welcomed the close cooperation between their law enforcement agencies which aim to prevent terrorism, cross-border crimes and increase mutual legal assistance.
Both sides reiterated that the Consular Dialogue is an important mechanism to further enhance their commitment to continue to work toward citizen-centric issues which form the core of the bilateral ties shared by India and Bangladesh.
India and Bangladesh share a unique friendship and special bond. Especially in this 50th anniversary year of the establishment of bilateral diplomatic ties, both countries have agreed to further strengthen bilateral relations through easier and more wide-ranging people-to-people exchanges.
The first ever Consular Dialogue between India and Bangladesh was held in Dhaka on November 19, 2017, and the second Consular Dialogue between India and Bangladesh was held in New Delhi on January 28, 2021.
The third Consular Dialogue was held in an amicable atmosphere and the leader of the Indian delegation proposed that the next round of Consular Dialogue may be held in New Delhi, India on a date mutually convenient for both countries.
This Consular Dialogue mechanism was introduced in the year 2017 to discuss and improve consular, visa and mutual legal assistance cooperation between India and Bangladesh, thereby promoting stronger people-to-people ties.