Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina on September 27 on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
This will be their first interaction as Hasina was unable to attend Modi’s swearing-in ceremony in May, which was attended by all the other Saarc leaders.
The decision for the meet in New York was taken during a meeting between Bangladesh foreign minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali and external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj in New Delhi on Saturday — the first contact between the two countries after the NDA came to power in India and Hasina was re-elected in Dhaka.
The Modi government has been keen on enhancing ties with Bangladesh and Swaraj had chosen Dhaka for her first standalone foreign trip in July.
On Saturday, India offered Bangladesh, which is also its biggest trading partner in South Asia, cooperation in civil nuclear sector and outer space. They also reviewed the status of projects under the $800 million concessional line of credit extended by India to Bangladesh.
Dhaka agreed to a proposal to set up a special economic zone for Indian investors. The two sides also agreed on various proposals to enhance rail and bus connectivity.
But no headway was made on the touchy issues of the Teesta water pact and land boundary agreements. India, however, assured Bangladesh that till a solution is worked out, “the waters of the Teesta would flow unimpeded”.
Dhaka has been urging India to move on these issues, which requires stronger political will in India, and they could come up for discussion when the two leaders meet later in the month.