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Tuesday, March 3, 2015, Falgun 19, 1421 BS, Jamadi ul Awwal 11, 1436 Hijr

Dhaka-Delhi broad accord on thorny issues
Published : Tuesday, 3 March, 2015,  Time : 12:00 AM,  View Count : 18

Diplomatic Correspondent
Indian Foreign Secretary Subrahmanyam Jaishankar's visit to Bangladesh has yielded a positive note of agreement on several thorny issues and also offers a vision of bilateral cooperation.
Dhaka has noticed "a major change" in Indian foreign policy, the upshot of which is that India is now focused on resolving bilateral problems with its neighbours "quickly".
Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque made the remarks before journalists on Monday after his first bilateral meeting with his new Indian counterpart at the Foreign Office.
He said they had discussed the entire gamut of bilateral, sub-regional, regional and international issues during the "short" meeting.
The Foreign Secretary said they had covered all issues, including the Land Boundary Agreement (LBA) and Teesta water sharing, "but nothing specific" during the 40-minutes bilateral meetings.
"We raised our concerns on Teesta," he said in response to a question. "Their feedback was positive".
The LBA ratification is at the final stages awaiting parliamentary approval during the current Lok Sabha budget session. In fact Jaishankar's visit was aimed at conveying Delhi's intention of resolving outstanding issues like Teesta water sharing and implementation of the Land Boundary Agreement (LBA).
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's positive approach towards resolving the Teesta issue during her February visit to Dhaka is expected to help the Indian government take steps towards finding a solution to the unresolved issue.
The Indian Foreign Secretary reiterated Prime Minister Narendra Modi's political commitment to Bangladesh in taking bilateral relations to new heights, besides enhancing regional cooperation among the member states of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).
Jaishankar arrived in Dhaka on Monday, after the visiting Bhutan on the first leg of his four-nation SAARC visit. The visit is considered a big outreach in the neighbourhood.
The visiting Foreign Secretary's flight on a special Indian Air Force aircraft from Paro to Dhaka was delayed by couple of hours owing to heavy snowfall in Bhutan. He will fly to Islamabad, Pakistan, on Tuesday morning and also visit Kabul, Afghanistan, on Wednesday.
For Jaishankar it was his maiden trip to Dhaka after assuming charge as Indian foreign secretary on January 29.
Shahidul Haque said that during the talks with his Indian counterpart present political situation was not discussed.
The issue of border killing and other sensitive issues were not raised during the parley, the FS said. Jaishankar also met Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali.
When a reporter asked Haque whether Narendra Modi would be visiting Dhaka on March 26 during Bangladesh independence 44th anniversary celebrations, he said no specific dates date had been discussed for the visit, but added that diplomats of the two countries were working on it.

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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