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Updated: September 10, 2009 18:35 IST

India, Bangladesh agree to resolve outstanding issues

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External Affairs Minister S M Krishna shakes hands with his Bangladeshi counterpart Dipu Moni at a meeting in New Delhi on Tuesday. Photo: PTI
External Affairs Minister S M Krishna shakes hands with his Bangladeshi counterpart Dipu Moni at a meeting in New Delhi on Tuesday. Photo: PTI

Bangladesh on Thursday indicated that it is taking action against north east insurgents taking shelter there as the two countries decided to sign agreements providing for transfer of terrorists and criminals.

Viewing a "historic opportunity" to work together, the two countries also agreed to resolve the outstanding issues relating to boundary and water-sharing of common rivers and decided on a number of steps to boost trade and connectivity.

The measures, agreed during talks between External Affairs Minister S M Krishna and his counterpart Dipu Moni, included starting of border 'haats (markets)' and movement of containerised cargo by rail and water for bilateral trade.

India agreed to provide Line of Credit for railway projects and offered to take up construction of Akhaura-Agartala railway link.

In a joint statement issued at the conclusion of the four-day visit of Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dipu Moni, the two sides vowed not to allow the use of their territories for activities inimical to each other's security interests.

They also agreed to strengthen bilateral cooperation to "deter the recurrence of terrorist incidents".

Asked whether Bangladesh will take action against north east insurgents taking shelter there, Ms. Moni told reporters that her country would "not allow any terrorist on its soil, may it be of any creed or colour...We are undertaking action to arrest and uproot them."

In the context of cooperating in the fight against terror, India and Bangladesh decided to conclude three agreements -- the mutual legal assistance treaty on criminal matters, agreement on transfer of sentenced persons and agreement on combating international terrorism, organised crime and illegal drug trafficking.

The agreements will provide a legal framework for seeking deportation of northeast insurgents who take shelter in Bangladesh, including those who have been arrested and sentenced in Bangladesh like ULFA leader Anup Chetia.

Chetia is set to be released from a Bangladesh prison and India has made a request that he should be handed over.

Ms. Moni said the cooperation on fight against terrorism will involve sharing of intelligence and other aspects of collaboration.

Asked whether an extradition treaty would be signed, she said the two sides are discussing it.

Ms. Moni said the two countries have common views on various issues and both agreed that there was a “historic opportunity to work together and move together“.

On her meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, she said he had told her that India attaches the highest priority to its relations with Bangladesh.

Dr. Singh extended an invitation to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to visit India at an early date so that the two countries could “write a new chapter” in bilateral ties.

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