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Bangladesh PM to pay 'goodwill visit' to India

"The visit will be aimed at creating the right atmosphere to resolve contentious issues," a senior diplomat said.

india Updated: Mar 09, 2006 09:37 IST

Bangladesh Prime Minister Khaleda Zia will be coming to India on a "goodwill visit" on March 20.

The visit by Zia, her first one since she came to power, will provide the much-needed opportunity to iron out differences over issues like the demarcation of the over 4,000 km border, militancy and illegal migration, trade and transhipment of natural gas, that continue to cast their shadow over bilateral ties.

"The visit will be aimed at bridging the trust deficit and creating the right atmosphere to resolve all contentious issues," a senior Bangladesh diplomat said.

In her talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, whom she last met at the 13th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit in Dhaka, Zia is also expected to touch on regional issues like boosting synergies among SAARC nations through implementation of the South Asia Free Trade Area (SAFTA) and the stability of the region.

Dhaka is likely to focus on the whopping trade deficit, estimated to be over $2 billion, and will press New Delhi for removing tariff and non-tariff barriers to boost trade between the two countries.

"More trade can generate tremendous goodwill among the two countries. Bangladesh is more than willing to do business with India on mutually beneficial terms," the diplomat said.

First Published: Mar 09, 2006 09:37 IST