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Bangladesh Deputy Foreign Minister Cancels Visit to India News – India

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DHAKA: Bangladesh’s Deputy Foreign Minister Shahriar Alam has cancelled his visit to India to speak at an event in New Delhi as it coincided with the trip of the country’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to the UAE, the Foreign Office said here on Saturday, rejecting for “misleading” some media reports citing other reasons for the cancellation of the visit.

Bangladesh’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Alam was invited to speak at the Raisina Dialogue, backed by the Indian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to be held from 14 to 16 January.

The annual dialogue provides a platform for discussion on global issues and is attended by foreign ministers, diplomats and experts.

“The Ministry (of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh) wishes to convey that State Minister Md Shahriar Alam was invited as speaker in the Raisina Dialogue, which coincides with his visit to the UAE to accompany Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina,” said Ministry of Foreign Affairs

“As such, Minister of State Alam could not make use of participation,” he said in a statement.

Dhaka has sent a letter of regret to the Overseas Research Foundation (ORF), the organizer of the event in collaboration with India’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he said.

“It should be noted that no bilateral commitment was scheduled during the visit of (Delhi). The inability of their participation has no other connection,” the statement said.

The Foreign Ministry described some media reports in India as “misleading” citing other reasons for Alam’s non-participation.

The cancellation of Alam’s visit comes barely a month after two Bangladeshi ministers – Foreign Minister A K Abdul Momen and Interior Minister Asaduzzaman Khan – canceled their scheduled trips to India.

Momen planned to join the ministerial session of the Delhi Dialogue and the Indian Ocean Dialogue in December and would meet with his Indian counterpart S Jaishankar.

The cancellation came a day after Momen called Interior Minister Amit Shah’s comments on the persecution of religious minorities in Bangladesh.

Both Bangladesh and India at the time, however, maintained that the visit was cancelled, as Momen had to participate in two major national events.

The Minister of the Interior Khan also cancelled his private visit to Meghalaya apparently due to riots over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA).

According to the CAA, members of the Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jaina, Parsi and Christian communities who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan until 31 December 2014 after religious persecution there will obtain Indian citizenship.

Bangladesh was also known to have been upset after the departure of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam about four months ago, even though India told it that the issue was an internal matter of the country.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had welcomed the NRC issue with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his bilateral meeting in New York in September.

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