Calling Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s two-day visit to Bangladesh “historic,” , Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar said the “centrepiece of this visit” will be the exchange of theinstruments of ratification for the India-Bangladesh Land Boundary Agreement (LBA).
“This is not an ordinary achievement. With the LBA and the resolution of our maritime boundary, we have completely settled our boundary with Bangladesh. I cannot overstate the confidence and goodwill that is generated by this,” Mr. Jaishankar said.
At a briefing ahead of the PM’s departure, the Foreign Secretary said that connectivity would be the theme of negotiations as the two sides will announce initiatives on bus services, movement of goods, waterway trade, and a sub-regional motor vehicles agreement between Bhutan, Bangladesh, India and Nepal. India will also increase “substantially” the power supplied to Bangladesh, particularly the eastern part of the country, up from the 500 MW supplied at present, and supply more diesel, as well as sign a cooperative arrangement on telecom and Internet lines.
Mr. Jaishankar did not speak about the Teesta water sharing agreement, which is not on the agenda, reportedly due to last-minute issues between the Centre and West Bengal government. However, in a show of solidarity, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has travelled to Dhaka , to witness the LBA signing.