Bangladesh president arrives in India on six-day visit

In a first-ever visit by a ceremonial Head of Bangladesh, its President Abdul Hamid will arrive here on Thursday on an official six-day tour, which is expected to further strengthen and expand the close bilateral relations between the two countries.

New Delhi: Bangladesh President M. Abdul Hamid arrived here Thursday on a six-day official visit - the first visit by a ceremonial head of state of Bangladesh since 1972.

Hamid is here on the invite of President Pranab Mulherjee, and will be a guest in Rashtrapati Bhawan. He was received at the airport by Minister of State for External Affairs, Gen V.K Singh (retd.).

The external affairs spokesperson tweeted: "A friendly neighbour comes. President Md.Abdul Hamid of Bangladesh in Delhi."

While in India, the visiting president will meet his Indian counterpart as well as Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and other senior leaders.

Hamid is scheduled to visit places of historical and cultural importance both in and outside Delhi, said an official statement.

"President Mukherjee had paid a state visit to Bangladesh in March 2013. The visit of the Bangladesh president will contribute to further strengthening and expanding the close bilateral relations between our two countries," it said.

Hamid will also visit Amjer, Agra, Jaipur during his stay. He will visit Kolkata before returning to Dhaka Dec 23, the Bangladesh mission here had announced earlier.

The visit comes as the Narendra Modi government has indicated its willingness to go ahead with the India-Bangladesh land swap agreement.

Under the swap, India will exchange 111 enclaves measuring 17,160 acres with Bangladesh and receive 51 enclaves covering 7,110 acres. Almost 51,000 people reside in these enclaves. The territories involved in the exchange are in the states of Assam, West Bengal, Meghalaya and Tripura.