Hillary to meet Mamata, FDI in retail, Teesta Treaty on agenda
The US secretary of state is expected to urge Mamata Banerjee to support opening India's retail sector to foreign giants such as Walmart after the West Bengal chief minister opposed the move in the Parliament last year.kolkata Updated: May 07, 2012 11:07 IST
US secretary of state Hillary Clinton will hold talks with West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata on Monday before leaving for New Delhi in the afternoon.
Clinton is expected to urge Banerjee to support opening India's retail sector to foreign giants such as Walmart after the West Bengal chief minister opposed the move in Parliament last year.
India-Bangladesh ties, especially the Teesta Water Treaty, is also expected to come up during the talks. The Teesta Water Treaty between India and Bangladesh was sent into cold storage due to Banerjee's opposition last year.
According to senior officials of the US administration, discussions over India-Bangladesh ties and trade ought to come up in the discussions as West Bengal will be the main beneficiary of strong India-Bangladesh ties.
The Teesta treaty was proposed to be signed during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's trip to Dhaka last year. But the signing was scrapped following Banerjee's last minute opposition to the quantum of water to be shared with Bangladesh.
Discussions over US investment in West Bengal would also be on the discussion table.
On Sunday, Clinton interacted with young women rescued from human traffickers and listened keenly to their tales in her first programme after arriving in Kolkata.
Clinton clapped enthusiastically during a four-minute welcome dance by the women at the Indian Council for Cultural Relations' Rabindranath Tagore Centre.
Clinton also went to some of the women and appreciated their performance.
She then spoke to some victims of trafficking, seeking to know the ordeal they had undergone and offered them words of comfort.
Clinton also met representatives of other NGOs, including Aapne Aap Foundation and Prantakatha that also deal with victims of trafficking.