Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: India and Bangladesh on Thursday announced that both countries would conclude three agreements, including one for mutual legal assistance on criminal matters, and work on issues of river water sharing, connectivity, trade and energy.

The agreements include those for transfer of sentenced persons and on combating international terrorism, organised crime and illegal drug trafficking.

These decisions were arrived at the talks External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna held with Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dipu Moni here.

“The visit was marked by warmth and cordiality and a commitment to strengthen bilateral relations. Each side showed a keenness to respond positively to the concerns of the other,” a joint statement issued at the end of Dr. Moni’s four-day visit said.

These pacts should strengthen India’s claim for deportation of insurgents who operate in the northeast and take refuge in Bangladesh.

Dr. Moni also called on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Water Resources Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal. Dr. Singh said India attached the highest priority to its relations with Bangladesh. On river water sharing, both sides agreed that the foreign offices would meet and discuss technical and other parameters to finalise an agreement for sharing of Teesta river water and immediately start joint hydrological observations.

The two sides will undertake bank protection works and minor irrigation/drinking water schemes on the Feni river. India will also assist Bangladesh in the dredging sector. On the Tipaimukh dam in Manipur that became a political issue there, Dhaka welcomed New Delhi’s reassurance it would not take steps that would adversely impact Bangladesh.

On outstanding land boundary issues, both sides expressed their intent to resolve the Dahagram and Angarpota enclaves and the Tin Bigha corridor.

Dhaka agreed to provide access to the Ashuganj port to facilitate transportation of Over Dimensional Consignments for the Palatana power projects in Tripura while discussion was held for use of the Chittagong port by India.

India agreed to facilitate Nepal-Bangladesh and Bhutan-Bangladesh connectivity; reopen the Sabroom-Ramgarh trade point and the land route at Demagiri-Thegamukh on the Mizoram border for bilateral trade.Border Haats will be started on the Bangladesh-Meghalaya border and movement of container cargo by rail and water for bilateral trade will be permitted.