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Strong Bangladesh is in India's interest: PM

Manmohan Singh said 'a strong and prosperous' Bangladesh is in the interest of India, South Asia and the Asian region as a whole.

india Updated: Mar 21, 2006 16:45 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

Seeking to give a new dimension to bilateral ties, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday said "a strong and prosperous" Bangladesh is in the interest of India and the region.

"A strong and prosperous Bangladesh is in the interest of India, South Asia and the Asian region as a whole," Singh told reporters after a ceremonial reception was accorded to visiting Bangladesh Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia on the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhawan.

"She (Zia) is an honoured guest and we have intimate ties of friendship with Bangladesh," he said adding the two countries would discuss all bilateral issues.

Zia, after receiving a ceremonial guard of honour, told reporters that she had come with an "open mind" and would "discuss everything".

Earlier, she was received at the Rashtrapati Bhavan by the Prime Minister who was introduced to members of her delegation.

Zia, who arrived in Delhi on Monday on a three-day visit, has expressed hope that conditions would be created for "perceptible improvement" in bilateral ties to usher in a "new phase" in friendship and cooperation.

The two countries are likely to sign three pacts, including Double Tax Avoidance Agreement and Investment Protection Agreement.

During the Prime Ministerial level talks, India is likely to seek Dhaka's cooperation in ending terrorism emanating from Bangladesh, besides issue of illegal immigration.

First Published: Mar 21, 2006 15:17 IST