Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali on Wednesday indicated that there is no progress over Teesta water-sharing deal yet saying that the purpose of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s Kolkata visit is something different.
“You’ll come to know about it in due time,” he told reporters when asked about Teesta deal progress, without elaborating further.
He, however, said there will be a meeting between Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi during the visit.
Asked further about Teesta, Mahmood Ali said, “That’s all (what I said already). There’s nothing more to say. The purpose of the visit is different.”
The Foreign Minister was briefing reporters at the Foreign Ministry on the PM’s Kolkata visit.
State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam and Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque were present.
Sought comments whether Prime Minister Hasina will apprise her Indian counterpart about the issues related to political stability and coming elections, he said, “Sure, if Mr Modi asks her about it, why not. We’re friendly neighbours. We are two friends. Naturally (this can be discussed), absolutely.”
The Foreign Minister said the relations between Bangladesh and India are now stronger than any time in the past.
The visit of the Prime Minister will strengthen the relations, hoped the Foreign Minister.
He said the Prime Minister will highlight Bangladesh’s existing business friendly environment and scopes of expanding trade relations between the two countries during a meeting with West Bengal business leaders.
She will also encourage them to invest more in Bangladesh, said the Foreign Minister.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina leaves here for Kolkata on Friday morning to attend Visva Bharati Convocation Ceremony as the Guest of Honour and receive Degree of Doctor of Literature at Kazi Nazrul University, Asansol.
Foreign Minister Ali, Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid, Cultural Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Noor and Prime Minister’s four Advisers on Political, Economic, Foreign and Energy affairs will accompany the Prime Minister.
She will also inaugurate Bangladesh Bhaban jointly with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Visva Bharati and hold a meeting with him there.
A VVIP flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines carrying Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her entourage will take off from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at 8:30am (local time) on Friday for Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International (NSCBI) Airport, Kolkata. It will land at NSCBI Airport at 9am (local time).
From there, Sheikh Hasina will depart for Visva Bharati, Santiniketan by a helicopter.
Vice Chancellor of Visva Bharati Professor Sabuj Koli Sen will receive the Prime Minister at Santiniketan.
Narendra Modi will receive Sheikh Hasina at Rabindra Bhaban. She will then place flowers at Rabindra chair.
She will depart for convocation venue at Amrakanon and attend Visva Bharati Convocation Ceremony.
Hasina will take part in the convocation procession and oath ceremony.
Both the Prime Ministers of Bangladesh and India will deliver their speeches at the function.
After the convocation ceremony, the Bangladesh Prime Minister and her Indian counterpart will jointly unveil the plaque of Bangladesh Bhaban.
Tagore’s song ‘Anandaloke Mongolaloke will be played at the ceremony. The Vice Chancellor of Visva Bharati will deliver the welcome speech.
After the inaugural function, Sheikh Hasina and Narendra Modi will sit in the meeting over lunch. After the meeting, she will depart Santiniketan for Kolkata by a helicopter.
On her return to Kolkata, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will visit Jorasanko Thakur Bari. Later, local chamber leaders will meet her.
On May 26, the Prime Minister will go to Kazi Nazrul University, Asansol to receive the Degree of Doctor of Literature.
A VVIP flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines will depart from Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International (NSCBI) Airport, Kolkata for the Kazi Nazrul Islam (KNI) Airport, Andal, Durgapur at 9:50am (local time).
After the conferring of Degree of Doctor of Literature on Sheikh Hasina at the Kazi Nazrul University, the KNU Vice Chancellor will deliver the welcome address.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will then deliver her speech.
Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banarjee will deliver her speech as the Guest-in-Chief at the convocation.
After the programme, the Prime Minister will return to Kolkata. She will then visit Netaji Museum (Netaji Bhawan) and place wreaths on the bed of Netaji and sign the visitor’s book.