'Almost no border disputes' with India, says Hasina
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said that her country's geographical position obliges it to live in peace with neighbouring countries like India with which now there are "almost no border disputes".world Updated: Jan 14, 2013 15:08 IST
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said that her country's geographical position obliges it to live in peace with neighbouring countries like India with which now there are "almost no border disputes".
"The geographical position of Bangladesh obliges us to live in peace with all," Hasina said ahead of her official visit to Russia, the first one by a leader of Bangladesh in 40 years.
Hasina recalled her father and former president Mujibur Rahman's words "'It is essential to be friendly with everyone and not to have a feud with anyone'" and said Bangladesh seeks to stress on the contentious issues of South Asia as little as possible, giving more room for discussion of peace and cooperation matters between neighbours.
She said Dhaka, by following this policy course, succeeded actually in settling the "long-standing disputes with India over the division of the Ganges River water resources", as well as in settling the border demarcation issue within two years.
"So now there are almost no border disputes any longer," the Bangladeshi Head of Government summed up.
She said that "after a long silence", Dhaka resumed "cordial relations" with "another two friendly neighbours --Bhutan and Nepal".
"We jointly decided to hold talks with India on transit communication between us across its territory," Hasina said.
Bangladesh, she said, also "managed to establish a positive dialogue even with such a secluded country "as Myanmar, and "settle sea borders-related matters".
"Notwithstanding the unpleasant recollections about 1971, we try to maintain friendly relations even with Pakistan," she pointed out. "We have long been on friendly terms with the People's Republic of China and successfully develop trading and other allied relations".
"Poverty is our enemy number one," she emphasised. "We jointly act under the auspices the regional bloc SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation). I believe in the constructive role of friendship. Hostility is senseless and will lead to no good".