New Delhi and Dhaka will sign quite a few important bilateral documents as External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna arrives here on Wednesday to reassert India's commitment to forging a “stronger and enduring relationship” with Bangladesh.
During his two-day visit, Mr. Krishna will hold talks with his Bangladesh counterpart Dipu Moni. In his maiden visit to Dhaka, ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's scheduled two-day visit from September 6, Mr. Krishna will also call on President Zillur Rahman, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Finance Minister A.M.A Muhith and Leader of the Opposition Khaleda Zia.
Officials here said several pacts, including a 15-year interim arrangement for Teesta water sharing, border management, transit, cooperation in trade and railway, and projects under India's $1 billion credit to Bangladesh are expected to be signed.
Mr. Krishna will address academics on “India-Bangladesh relations” at the Bangladesh Institute for International and Strategic Studies and inaugurate Kala Bhavan, set up with Indian assistance at Dhaka University. He will also visit the national monument at Savar and the Bangabandhu Museum.
The Minister's visit comes amid a controversy over Dr. Singh's remarks on Bangladesh which got adverse reactions, with some terming them “unnecessary” while anti-government politicians criticised those remarks as “unbecoming of” and “undiplomatic.”
Mr. Krishna said in New Delhi on Monday that India attached “utmost importance” to its relations with Bangladesh. The relationship had “matured and deepened” with close cooperation in a wide range of areas, he noted.
Dr. Singh also called up his Bangladesh counterpart and discussed bilateral issues on Monday. He said he firmly believed Bangladesh people were very peace-loving and friendly to his country as well as other neighbours.
Sheikh Hasina, who visited India in January 2010, said she personally and the people of Bangladesh were waiting eagerly to receive Dr. Singh.
Meanwhile, a Foreign Ministry release said Dr. Singh's visit was expected to infuse fresh dynamism into the multi-faceted, multi-dimensional relationship between the two countries.