It was a fruitful meeting, says Foreign Secretary

Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai on Saturday met Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee here and discussed various issues relating to India's relations with neighbouring countries in the region.

The 30-minute meeting was considered significant in view of the Teesta waters sharing treaty between India and Bangladesh having been called of at the last moment in September 2011 following Ms. Banerjee's reservations against it on the grounds that the pact would be detrimental to the interests of north Bengal.

He said it was a courtesy call as he had come to the city to participate in a conference of the BCIM (Bangladesh, China, India and Myanmar) forum to address matters related to better linkages between the four countries.

When journalists asked whether the sharing of the Teesta waters had cropped up during the talks, Mr. Mathai said: “We discussed all issues relating to some of our neighbouring countries and the discussion was useful and fruitful.”

“Routine meeting”

“It was a routine meeting,” Ms. Banerjee told journalists.

Recently Ms. Banerjee had written a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressing her disappointment over large quantum of water from the Farakka Barrage flowing into Bangladesh because of two damaged sluice gates. The Chief Minister had sought his intervention in the matter.

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