Foreign secretary gives overview of PM Modi, Sheikh Hasina meeting: 7 points
As Prime Minister Narendra Modi met his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina on Saturday, the last day of his two-day visit to the neighbouring country, foreign secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said both the leaders discussed ways to strengthen the 50-year-old diplomatic ties between their countries. India and Bangladesh signed five agreements in areas ranging from trade to disaster management, Shringla added.
PM Modi was in Bangladesh to take part in the celebration of the Golden Jubilee of its independence.
Here are 7 things Shringla said on PM Modi's visit to the neighbouring country:
1. Sheikh Hasina lauded India’s neighbourhood first policy and PM Modi thanked her for erecting a war memorial in her country in recognition of contribution of the Indian soldiers killed during the liberation war of Bangladesh. Both leaders laid the foundation stone for the memorial, said Shringla.
2. PM Modi and Hasina inaugurated the Bangladesh leg of the Bangbandhu-Bapu digital exhibition, which showcases a rare photo of the neighbouring country first president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Mahatma Gandhi. "We plan to take this exhibition to many countries and this idea was discussed in the last meeting of both PMs," Shringla said.
3. It was decided that December 6, the day on which India formally recognised Bangladesh, will be celebrated as 'Maitri Diwas'.
4. Both the countries are willing to expand cooperation in the space sector, the foreign secretary said.
5. Shringla said it was decided that Indian companies will develop Bangladesh's Ruppur Nuclear Power Plant. "A significant part of our third line of credit will go to civil nuclear cooperation. Transmission lines of Bangladesh's Ruppur Nuclear Power Plant will be developed by Indian companies under the line of credit. Value of these transmission lines will be worth over $1 billion," he said.
6. Commenting on the agreement Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal (the BBIN group of countries) signed in 2015 for facilitating easy cargo movement across their borders, he said, "There is a very active collaboration and cooperation among India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan. We spoke about the Motor Vehicle Agreement. It is in a fairly advanced stage. We want to take it further. We are facilitating Bangladesi exports to both these countries via India," he said.
7. The Teesta water-sharing issue was also discussed during the leaders' meeting. "PM Modi reiterated India's sincere and continued efforts to conclude this agreement in consultation with relevant stakeholders. Indian side also requested for early finalisation of a draft for sharing of water of the Feni River," Shringla said.
(with agency inputs)