HindustanTimes Fri,24 Oct 2014

Sushma dials Mamata as she begins Dhaka visit

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, June 26, 2014
First Published: 00:42 IST(26/6/2014) | Last Updated: 00:45 IST(26/6/2014)

Ahead of her visit to Bangladesh, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj spoke to West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee about the two-day trip.

According to official sources, Swaraj made a call to Banerjee  on Tuesday to "touch-base" and tell her about the visit during which the external affairs minister will hold talks with top Bangladeshi leadership on key bilateral issues including Land Boundary Agreement (LBA), proposed Teesta river pact and illegal immigration to India.

Swaraj's call assumes significance given that Banerjee's party Trinamool Congress prevented the previous Congress-led government from signing the Teesta water sharing deal with Bangladesh. It is learnt that  Swaraj told the CM that Dhaka is keen on the pact.

In 2011, Banerjee, then an ally of the Congress-led UPA, backed out from then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's Bangladesh visit, opposing the Teesta water sharing treaty following which it was shelved.

The Indian delegation, which is expected to raise issues like illegal immigration and market access, is also prepared that Bangladesh will raise the "touchy" issues of LBA and proposed Teesta river pact.

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