NEW DELHI, July 4 (IANS): Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will Sep 6 go on a two-day visit to Bangladesh, on a trip that is expected to underline a new phase in improving relations despite the recent row triggered by his off-the-record remarks about the situation in that country.
Vishnu Prakash, the spokesperson of the external affairs ministry, Monday disclosed the dates for the prime minister's forthcoming visit to Dhaka in a tweet posted on the social networking site.
Later, the external affairs ministry said in a statement: "At the invitation of the prime minister of Bangladesh, her excellency Sheikh Hasina, the prime minister of India Dr Manmohan Singh would be paying an official visit to Bangladesh from Sep 6 to 7, 2011."
New Delhi made public the dates for the prime minister's visit amid an unseemly controversy triggered by the prime minister's off-the-record remarks last week about 25 percent of Bangladeshis being under the influence of the "anti-Indian" Jamaat-e- Islami, a rightwing Islamist political party. These remarks created a storm in Bangladesh and were splashed in all Bangladeshi dailies.
This will be the second visit by Manmohan Singh to Dhaka. He visited Bangladesh to attend the summit of the eight-nation South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) in 2005.
Manmohan Singh's visit will return the one by Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed's trip to India in January last year. It saw India announcing a $1 billion line of credit for a slew of development projects in Bangladesh.
During her visit, the two sides also signed crucial agreements to enhance counter-terror and security cooperation.
Ahead of Manmohan Singh's visit, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna will travel to Dhaka July 6 on a three-day trip that is expected to pacify hurt feelings in Bangladesh and set the stage for the prime minister's visit.