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NEW DELHI : Foreign secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla arrived in Bangladesh on a two day trip amid speculation that India could extend an invitation to Bangladeshi prime minister Sheikh Hasina to be the chief guest at India’s Republic Day celebrations in 2022.

According to the Indian foreign ministry, Shringla’s visit is aimed at meeting the country's top leadership and reviewing the wide-ranging bilateral cooperation between the two neighbours.

Shringla’s visit comes a day after Bangladesh and India celebrated 'Maitri Diwas' or “Friendship Day" marking India’s formal entry into the war that resulted in the bifurcation of Pakistan and the birth of Bangladesh in 1971. Both India and Bangladesh are marking 50 years of Bangladesh’s emergence as an independent country. Various programmes showcasing different aspects of the freedom struggle have been undertaken in 18 countries. India was among the first countries to accord Bangladesh recognition as an independent country in 1971, well before the war of liberation formally closed on 16 December.

A PTI report from Dhaka said that on his arrival, Shringla was received on his arrival by his Bangladesh counterpart, Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen.

Shringla is scheduled to call on Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday, besides holding scheduled meetings with his counterpart and a meeting with Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen.

Shringla is also expected to meet the Road Transport and Bridges Minister and ruling Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader.

The visit to Bangladesh will provide an opportunity to review the wide-ranging cooperation between the two countries, said an Indian External Affairs Ministry statement.

The visit will also help prepare the ground for the state visit of President Ram Nath Kovind to Bangladesh from December 15 to 17, it added.

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