Europe can’t put its energy needs first while requesting India to act otherwise: Jaishankar
With the G7 price ceiling on Russian crude oil at USD 60 per barrel taking effect, India on Monday (December 05, 2022) vehemently defended its acquisition of crude oil from Russia during the ongoing Ukraine war – claiming that New Delhi’s purchase was just one-sixth of the European buy in the previous nine months. At a press conference following lengthy discussions with the visiting German foreign minister Annalena Baerbock, Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that Europe cannot decide to put its energy needs first while requesting New Delhi to take another action, claiming that talks between India and Russia to increase trade began long before the war in Ukraine, NDTV reports. Jaishankar said: “I understand that there is a conflict situation (in Ukraine). I also understand that Europe has a point of view and Europe will make the choices it will make that is Europe’s right. But for Europe to make choices which prioritises its energy needs and then ask India to do something else…” Read: Russian oil shipments to central Europe expected to resume Jaishankar also said that pressure on pricing is also being exerted by Europe’s purchases of Middle Eastern crude oil. The Indian foreign minister commented, “And bear in mind, today, Europe is buying a lot (of crude oil) from the Middle-East. The Middle-East was traditionally a supplier for an economy like India. So it puts pressure on prices in the Middle-East as well. We have been very very understanding of the European choices and European policies.” He was quoted by NDTV as saying: “I think first we need to establish the facts very clearly. Between February 24 and November 17, the European Union has imported more fossil fuel from Russia than the next 10 countries combined. The oil import in the European Union is like six times what India has imported. Gas is infinite because we do not import it while the European Union imported 50 billions Euros worth (of gas).” Read: Bangladesh may prefer to import Russian oil via third country While pledging to further cooperate in the areas of defence and security, commerce, climate change, and renewable energy, the two foreign ministers also signed a bilateral mobility agreement that would make it simpler for individuals to study and work in each other’s countries. The German foreign minister stated at the joint news conference that China has changed significantly in recent years and “the whole region can see this and feel this”, in reference to the country’s “growing aggressiveness”. Baerbock, who was in India for a two-day visit, also promised to shorten the wait time for visas. The talks also touched on Pakistani cross-border terrorism, the situation in Afghanistan, and developments in the Indo-Pacific, according to the NDTV report. Read: Fuel import from India through pipeline to start from 2023: PM Russian oil imports into India have significantly increased during the past few months. According to New Delhi, it is its essential responsibility to make sure that Indian consumers have the greatest possible access to the worldwide markets on the most favourable conditions.
Bangabandhu as revered in India as he is in Bangladesh: Jaishankar
India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has said Indians consider Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman an icon — a man of action, courage and conviction. “He (Bangabandhu) is as revered and remembered in India, as he is in Bangladesh,” he said. Jaishankar mentioned that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said Bangabandhu is their “hero” too. As a mark of respect to him, both countries have commissioned a biopic on him, which is nearing completion, said the Indian minister. Jaishankar was speaking at the award giving ceremony of the "Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Student Scholarship" in New Delhi today (September 7, 2022). Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina conferred the first Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Scholarship on descendants of Indian armed forces personnel who were martyred or critically wounded during the Liberation war of 1971. Read: Getting Kushiyara water is a big success of PM’s India visit: Quader "Prime Minister, under your and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visionary leadership, India-Bangladesh relations have taken great strides forward in ways that have not only shaped the contemporary but also the future trajectory of the partnership in mind," said the Indian foreign minister. Jaishankar said for many years, freedom fighters have acted as a bridge between the two countries. "That bond is now reaffirmed as the families of our war veterans and of those who made supreme sacrifices in the Liberation War, gather here today," he said, adding that the decision of the government of Bangladesh to award Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Student Scholarship is a testament of how the Liberation War of 1971 continues to inspire the bilateral relationship. He congratulated the youths who received the scholarship and wished them success. "You inherit a brave and historic legacy. Please honour and cherish it. As you will move ahead in life, you will be the custodian of the memory of that epochal war that gave birth to a new nation. So, do well and be true to everything that you do. That would be one of the finest tributes to a heroic leader, in whose name you receive this scholarship today," he said. Jaishankar thanked Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for this generous gesture of her government. "It is truly a symbol of our unique history."
Jaishankar leaves Dhaka after his "positive discussions" with leaders
Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Friday left Dhaka for Bhutan after his "positive discussions" in Bangladesh.Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen saw him off at BAS Base Bangabandhu on Friday morning as he left for Paro by a special flight of Indian Air Force.Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Vikram Kumar Doraiswami was also present. Also read: Growing Dhaka-Delhi interactions good reflection of trust: JaishankarDuring his brief stay in Dhaka, Jaishankar met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her official residence Gonobhaban on Thursday afternoon and invited her to visit India on behalf of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Growing Dhaka-Delhi interactions good reflection of trust: Jaishankar
Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday said the “regularity, informality and cordiality” of interactions between Dhaka and Delhi is a very good reflection of the trust and confidence, noting that leaders of the two countries remain in touch. “My visit today is aimed at continuing the progress and deepening our engagement and it is in keeping with the strength and spirit of our bilateral ties,” he told reporters at the Foreign Service Academy at a j media briefing jointly with his Bangladesh counterpart AK Abdul Momen. Despite the challenges of Covid pandemic, Jaishankar said they have remained regularly in touch and made good progress in bilateral relations with Bangladesh. Read: Momen hopeful of early signing of Teesta; India looks forward to Hasina’s visit “Our connectivity today is back to pre-Covid levels and we are looking at resuming cross border busses and train services shortly after Eid,” said Jaishankar who last visited Bangladesh in March 2021. Foreign Minister Momen said in working together the two countries resolved some major problems. He said both sides renewed commitments to resolve the pending issues as they have the spirit to work together. Jaishankar said he conveyed to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina the personal greetings and good wishes of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “We look forward to her visit to India at a time of her convenience” At the invitation of Hasina, the Indian PM paid a state visit to Bangladesh in March last year to join the celebrations of the Golden Jubilee of the Independence of Bangladesh, the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and 50 years of establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Bangladesh. Read: Info minister considers legal action against TIB for lies At the invitation of President Abdul Hamid, Indian President Ram Nath Kovind also paid a state visit to Bangladesh from December 15 to 17 last year to attend the 50th Victory Day celebrations here as the guest of honour. Next JCC Meet in Delhi Before PM Hasina’s planned India visit, the next round of Joint Consultative Commission (JCC) meeting will be held in New Delhi, most likely next month. The JCC will be co-chaired by Momen and Jaishankar.
Hasina offers Ctg port for use by India’s north-eastern states
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday said the India’s northeastern states like Assam and Tripura can use Bangladesh’s Chittagong seaport by strengthening the connectivity between the two neighbouring countries. "If the connectivity is increased, the Indian northeastern states -like Assam and Tripura- can have access to the seaport in Chattogram," she said. The premier said this when visiting Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar met her at her official residence Ganobhaban on Thursday afternoon. PM's Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed reporters after the meeting. Hasina said an initiative has already been taken to reopen the cross-border routes which had been shut down in 1965. During the meeting, both of them expressed happiness at the state of the existing bilateral relations between the two countries. Read: Jaishankar in city to meet PM Hasina Hasina said high-level visits between the two countries give impetus to carry forward the relations. Jaishankar said the bilateral issues are being reviewed and it’s progressing well. Besides, different issues including defence cooperation, water sharing of Kushiara and Feni Rivers, current Covid situation and impacts of Russia-Ukraine war on the global economy came up for the discussion. Foreign Senior Secretary Masud Bin Momen, PMO Senior Secretary Md Tofazzel Hossain Miah and Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Vikram Kumar Doraiswami were present. Jaishankar arrived here on a day’s visit on Thursday.
BIMSTEC: Jaishankar exchanges pleasantries with Momen
Indian External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar has described the 18th BIMSTEC ministerial meeting “productive and congenial.” He thanked his Sri Lankan counterpart and chairperson of the ministerial meeting Prof G.L Peiris for the “excellent arrangements.” Dr Jaishankar also exchanged pleasantries with his Bangladesh counterpart Dr AK Abdul Momen and the Sri Lankan Foreign Minister at the venue. “Concluded a productive and congenial BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting. Thank you FM Prof G. L. Peiris for the excellent arrangements,” he tweeted sharing few photos. Indian External Affairs Minister Jaishankar led the Indian delegation at the meeting. Dr Jaishankar invited his Bangladesh counterpart Dr Momen to visit India at an early date. "Nice to catch up with FM A.K.Abdul Momen of Bangladesh," he tweeted.
Will take ties with Dhaka to even higher level: Jaishankar
Bangladesh and India have committed to taking the bilateral relations between the two countries to a higher level this year, mentioning that the year 2021 was a great year. Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen had a meeting with his Indian counterpart S Jaishankar in Paris on Monday and discussed issues of bilateral interest. They particularly talked about the preparations for the next Joint Consultative Commission (JCC) meeting. Jaishankar invited his Bangladesh counterpart to co-chair the next round of the JCC meeting during the first half of the year, according to the foreign ministry. The two ministers also stressed the need for concluding meetings of the relevant Joint Working Groups prior to the JCC meeting. The sixth meeting of the JCC between the two countries was held on September 29, 2020. Although Dhaka was scheduled to host the meeting, due to the COVID-19 situation the meeting was held on a virtual platform. Also read: Dhaka, Delhi eye greater engagements ahead of Hasina’s possible visit "Noted that 2021 was a great year for the relationship. Committed to taking it to an even higher level in 2022," Jaishankar tweeted after the meeting. He described the meeting with his Bangladesh counterpart Momen "good" and expressed happiness to hold the meeting amid International Mother Language Day. Momen reiterated the importance of resolving the Teesta water sharing issue while his Indian counterpart reaffirmed his government’s principled position on the matter. The two ministers also agreed to facilitate the ongoing discussions around the Kushiara river. Momen urged India to remain engaged with the Rohingya humanitarian crisis, including in the latter’s capacity as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council. The ministers also recalled the successful events held in 18 cities around the world to observe the "Maitri Dibosh" or Friendship Day on December 6 last year. Momen is now visiting Paris to attend the Ministerial Forum for Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, scheduled to be held today (Tuesday). Jaishankar and Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi as well as the Executive Vice-President of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans are scheduled to attend the Ministerial Forum. The Forum is seen as an opportunity to showcase the European Union strategy for the region and develop tangible projects in this regard. It will bring together Foreign Ministers of EU Member States and some 30 countries in the Indo-Pacific region, representatives of European institutions and representatives of the main regional organisations. Also read: Shahriar meets Lekhi in Delhi Ministerial Forum’s objective The Indo-Pacific region is of increasing strategic importance to the European Union and its Member States. Its economic weight (it will soon account for 60% of global wealth) and demographic significance (three fifths of the world’s population), its increasing presence in current affairs and future geopolitical balances make it an essential space for Europeans. There are considerable economic exchanges between Europe and the Indo-Pacific, which contribute to the prosperity of the European Union. Through its Member States’ outermost regions in the Indian Ocean and overseas territories in the Pacific, the European Union is also part of this region, with which it has a closely-shared destiny. Translating Europe’s desire for increased commitment to the region into action is one of the priorities of the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union. This priority is in line with the publication of the EU Strategy for Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, which was endorsed by the European Council in October 2021. This strategy includes seven priority areas for action, on which the French Presidency wanted to initiate dialogue with Indo-Pacific partners: Sustainable and inclusive prosperity; Green transition; Ocean governance; Digital governance and partnerships; Connectivity; Security and defence and Human security. In this regard, the Ministerial Forum for Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific will be an opportunity to demonstrate the strength of the links between EU countries and those of the Indo-Pacific.
Let’s look at broader connectivity: Jaishankar
India has picked up “connectivity” with Bangladesh as a big goal for the years to come that might change the entire logistic and whole geo-economics of the region giving the Bay of Bengal a very different look.
Experts skeptical of India's commitment to peace in Afghanistan
India on Friday reiterated its commitment to peace, prosperity and stability in neighbouring Afghanistan, a day after US President Donald Trump announced an early exit for American troops stationed in the war-torn country.