The 3rd Consular Dialogue between Bangladesh and India was held at the Foreign Service Academy in Dhaka this morning. The Bangladesh delegation was led by Ambassador Mashfee Binte Shams, Secretary (East) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs while Indian delegation was led by Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, Secretary (Consular, Passport & Visa and Overseas Indian Affairs), Ministry of External Affairs of India.
The entire gamut of bilateral consular issues were discussed in depth during the Dialogue. The agenda items included expeditious repatriation of each other’s nationals, particularly trafficked women and children, smooth issuance of exit permits and granting consular access for a longer period. Bangladesh side emphasized on flexibilities in the visa regime and requested Indian side to address the difference in overstay fine structures applied by India. Besides, Indian side was also requested to ease registration requirements for Bangladeshi patients going for treatment at various hospitals in India. Request to ease travel restrictions through all ports for Bangladeshi nationals was also reiterated by Bangladesh side. The two sides agreed to expedite the process of consular access, transfer of sentenced persons and visa related issues among others. Both sides reiterated their earlier commitments to share real time information on detainees.
Both sides agreed that the Consular Dialogue is an important mechanism to further strengthen the people-centric approach which is at the core of the excellent ties between the two friendly countries. The Consular Dialogue is a reflection of the commitment of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for providing better consular services to Bangladeshi nationals going abroad, as well as foreign nationals approaching Bangladesh Missions for consular services. The first ever Consular Dialogue between Bangladesh and India was held in Dhaka on 19 November 2017 and the 2nd Consular Dialogue between Bangladesh and India was held in New Delhi on 28 January 2021.
The 3rd Consular Dialogue was held in a cordial atmosphere and leader of Indian delegation proposed that the next round of Consular Dialogue may be held at New Delhi, India at a mutually convenient date.
Report- Pratyusha Mukherjee