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HindustanTimes Fri,11 Jul 2014

Prez Pranab Mukherjee to visit Dhaka

Jayanth Jacob, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, March 01, 2013
First Published: 23:50 IST(1/3/2013) | Last Updated: 23:52 IST(1/3/2013)

Riding high on political symbolism, President Pranab Mukherjee will begin his first foreign visit, to Bangladesh from Sunday even as Dhaka remains in the grip of a churn and bilateral ties at an important phase.

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While new verve marks the bilateral ties, two countries are still trying hard to resolve some long-pending issues such as Teesta water-sharing pact and finalising a land boundary agreement.

Ahead of the visit, Bangladesh is going through an internal political churn.

The intersection next to the Dhaka University, which would confer a doctorate on Mukherjee, called Shahbagh is witnessing one of the biggest protests in the country's history, led by the youth and catalyzed by social media.

However, Indian foreign secretary Ranjan Mathai sounded upbeat.

"We have done a great deal of preparation for the visit. We feel it would be appropriate to carry on with the visit," Mathai said.

He termed the situation in Dhaka as "calm".

"Mukherjee will convey to the Bangladesh leadership the Indian government's commitment to take bilateral relations to a higher level and resolve unresolved issues," foreign secretary said.

Mukherjee will receive the Bangladesh Liberation War Honour Award for his contribution to the 1971 independence war.


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