India and Bangladesh’s first cross-border oil pipeline is the real manifestation of the wonderful friendship that these two countries share, Bangladesh Deputy High Commissioner Andalib Elias said on Tuesday. “That’s a real manifestation of the wonderful friendship that these two countries enjoy and the deep relationship of trust and mutual respect that the two Prime Ministers have with each other,” Elias said.
This statement came after Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen announced that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina would jointly open the first cross-border oil pipeline on March 18 for transportation of diesel to Bangladesh, stated Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS). Confirming the news, the Bangladesh Deputy High Commissioner said, “PM Modi and my PM Sheikh Hasina first initiated this pipeline a few years ago. On 18th March, it will be formally launched. The oil will start going through it. That’s a huge step forward in the wonderful friendship that we have.”
Earlier, on Thursday, Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister told reporters at a briefing, “Good news is India will send us diesel . . . the (Oil) pipeline has been completed.” He added: “The two premiers will inaugurate the pipeline on March 18 (through video conferencing).”
Momen’s announcement came a week after he held talks with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar in New Delhi on the sidelines of the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting last week, as per BSS. According to Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC), officials in India would export diesel through the 130-km India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline (IBFPL), built at a cost of about 3.46 billion INR drawn from the Indian line of credit (LoC).
The pipeline stretches 125 km inside Bangladesh territory and 5 km inside India while the two premiers joined the ground-breaking ceremony for the IBFPL in September 2018 through video conferencing. Bangladesh used to import diesel from India through railway carriages.
The foreign minister said he also urged New Delhi to ensure an uninterrupted supply of essential products to Bangladesh, reported BSS. Momen said India gave high respect to the Bangladesh delegation throughout the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting reflecting the excellent Dhaka-Delhi bilateral relations.