External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will visit Bangladesh next week during which she will hold talks with the top leadership there on a host of issues of bilateral and international interest. This is Swaraj's first stand-alone visit abroad as the External Affairs Minister. She had earlier this month accompanied Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Bhutan.
Sources said Swaraj's visit indicates that the neighbourhood is India's priority. The Ministry said in a statement that the visit on June 25-27 "reflects the importance that India attaches to its bilateral relationship with Bangladesh, a close friend and neighbour".
During the visit, Swaraj will hold discussions on bilateral issues with her Bangladeshi counterpart A H Mahmood Ali. She will also call on Bangladesh President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. "She will also have engagement with think tanks, chambers of commerce and industry and cultural organisations," the MEA said in a statement. It said the visit will provide further momentum to the close and friendly relationship between India and Bangladesh.
Bangladesh Foreign Minister A H Mahmood Ali had written a letter to Swaraj soon after she was sworn in as External Affairs Minister on May 26, felicitating her and inviting her to visit Bangladesh.