External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Tuesday held a series of bilateral meetings with his counterparts from Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh on the sidelines of the BIMSTEC Ministerial meeting here and discussed cooperation in connectivity, energy and hydropower projects. “Good to meet FM Narayan Khadka of Nepal on the sidelines of the BIMSTEC Ministerial. Discussed our cooperation in connectivity, energy, fertilizers, health and power. Agreed to focus on taking forward the Ramayan circuit,” he tweeted.
Jaishankar on Tuesday participated in the 18th BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting in Colombo and said the BIMSTEC member states must collectively combat terrorism and violent extremism as he emphasised India’s commitment to intensify, expand areas of cooperation, especially connectivity, energy and maritime.
The Nepalese foreign ministry said the two ministers discussed “matters including the ongoing preparations for Hon. PM’s visit to India” in their meeting. Nepalese PM Sher Bahadur Deuba will travel to India on Friday on a maiden visit during which he will hold talks with counterpart Narendra Modi and other leaders to further strengthen the multifaceted, age-old, and cordial ties between the two countries.
Jaishankar also met Bhutanese Foreign Minister Tandi Dorji here and reviewed various projects and initiatives.
“Pleasure as always to see @FMBhutan. Discussed our long-standing cooperation in the hydropower sector. Reviewed various other projects and initiatives. Spoke about the Bhutanese talent I saw recently in our training institutions. Look forward to continuing our engagement,” he tweeted.
He also held talks with his Bangladesh counterpart A K Abdul Momen on the sidelines of the BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting and invited him to visit India at an early date.
Besides India and Sri Lanka, the BIMSTEC comprises Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Nepal and Bhutan. “Concluded a productive and congenial BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting. Thank you FM Prof G. L. Peiris for the excellent arrangements,” Jaishankar said in another tweet.
He also visited the 1990 Suwa Seriya Ambulance service in Colombo. “Heartwarming to visit the 1990 Suwa Seriya Ambulance service in Colombo. Impressed by your record and achievements: Responded to 5 million calls to date. India is proud to be your partner in saving lives,” he tweeted.
Jaishankar arrived here on Sunday night and held bilateral talks with Sri Lanka’s top leadership. This is his first visit to the island nation since India extended an economic relief package to bail Sri Lanka out of the current economic crisis.