Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina followed the goodwill and goodwill shown on Bangladesh’s National Day with a bilateral meeting on Saturday in which the two countries signed five agreements in areas ranging from sports and from disaster management to trade remedies.
A “tête-à-tête” with Modi-Hasina preceded the official talks. However, the meeting again saw Hasina stress the need to sign the Teesta Interim Water Sharing Pact, which West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee continues to vehemently oppose.
The two sides also discussed Rohingya issues with India, saying it was happy to facilitate the “safe, speedy and sustainable” return of forcibly displaced people from Rakhine State to Myanmar.
“Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina raised the issue of Teesta. Prime Minister Modi reiterated India’s sincere and continued efforts to conclude the deal in consultation with relevant stakeholders,” Foreign Secretary Harsh said. Shringla, adding that the Indian side also asked Bangladesh to quickly finalize the project. of the interim agreement for the sharing of water from the Feni River. The results of the West Bengal elections could have a direct bearing on the Teesta Pact.
She (Hasina) stressed that in order to alleviate the suffering and save the livelihoods of millions of people dependent on the Teesta River Basin, it is necessary that Bangladesh receive its fair share of the Teesta waters, which the draft agreement has already been approved. by the two governments in January 2011, ”said a joint statement.
The delay in signing the Teesta agreement remains one of the few thorny issues in bilateral relations. Hasina also raised the issue with Modi at their virtual summit last year in December. Showing no signs of easing his stance, Mamata Banerjee said earlier this month that his state could only share water if it had enough for itself.
On security cooperation, recognizing that terrorism remains a threat to global peace and security, both sides reaffirmed their firm commitment to eradicate terrorism in “all its forms and manifestations”. Modi expressed India’s appreciation for the extended cooperation by Bangladesh on security issues.
The two leaders inaugurated three border “haats”, laid the foundation stone for five packages out of a total of eight of the Rooppur Power evacuation project and also jointly inaugurated the Rabindra Bhawan facilities in Kuthibari, according to the joint statement. India has also donated 109 ambulances to Bangladesh.
Significantly, while Bangladesh thanked India for offering 3.2 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, it also called on India to facilitate the regular delivery of the remaining slices of vaccine purchased by the Bangladesh from the Serum Institute of India.
Regarding the Rohingya issue, Modi expressed gratitude for Bangladesh’s generosity in sheltering and providing humanitarian assistance to the 1.1 million forcibly displaced people from Rakhine State in Myanmar, the joint statement said. Hasina called on India to play an important role in the swift repatriation of the displaced Rohingya to Myanmar. India assured its “continued support” in this regard.
Regarding connectivity, Hasina proposed the use of Chattogram and Sylhet International Airport by residents of northeast India.