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Foreign Secretary discusses Teesta, LBA in Dhaka

Dhaka: Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar in a meeting with Bangladesh Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali in Dhaka on Monday. PTI Photo (PTI3_2_2015_000197A)   | Photo Credit: PTI

Visiting Indian Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar discussed a wide range of topics including SAARC, Bimstec and other bilateral issues with his Bangladesh counterpart, M. Shahidul Haque.

After a 45-minute discussion with Mr. Haque at the Foreign Office on Monday, he said: “We had a very good discussion.”

He parried a question on whether they discussed Teesta, on which a bilateral deal was stalled in 2011 because of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s opposition. Briefing presspersons, Mr. Haque said the main message of his counterpart was that India wanted a deeper friendship with Bangladesh.“We discussed bilateral, regional and international issues including the Land Boundary Agreement and Teesta, but nothing specific.”

The LBA is now expected to be tabled in the Indian Parliament for clearance, and the West Bengal Chief Minister has already assured Dhaka of her support for the Teesta deal during her visit to Dhaka last month.

Mr. Jaishankar arrived here on Monday from Thimpu. He will fly to Islamabad on Tuesday and then to Kabul the following day. Issues like power generation and distribution, infrastructure development like road, housing and port and investment in prospective areas also reportedly came up during his interaction with Bangladesh Foreign Minister A.H. Mahmood Ali.

“We want more cooperation. We had a very successful and constructive meeting,” Mr. Jaishankar told reporters after meeting Mr. Ali.

Modi to visit Bangladesh soon

In a letter to Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed his willingness to visit Dhaka “soon.”

Mr. Jaishankar handed over the letter to Ms. Hasina in her office on Monday evening when he paid a courtesy call on her. Ms. Hasina told Mr. Jaishankar that she was keenly waiting to welcome Mr. Modi.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2021 6:50:38 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/foreign-secretary-discusses-teesta-lba-in-dhaka/article6952365.ece

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