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Hasina-Modi talks Saturday: Focus trade, connectivity

Hasina-Modi talks Saturday: Focus trade, connectivity

Dhaka, Oct 4 (UNB) – Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will hold a bilateral meeting with her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Saturday to discuss ways to take the relations between Bangladesh and India to the next trajectory.

The two sides at the meeting, to be held at the Hyderabad House, will give much importance to trade and connectivity issues apart from focusing on all bilateral issues, an official said.

The water-sharing of common rivers, Rohingya repatriation and investment issues are also likely to be discussed during the bilateral meeting between Prime Minister Hasina and her Indian counterpart Modi.

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen said at least 10-12 instruments will be signed on bilateral issues though it is not yet finalised how many deals will exactly be signed.

However, India’s External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar on Friday told reporters in New Delhi that the two sides are expected to sign six to seven MoUs in areas of connectivity, capacity-building and culture after the talks.

He said Hasina and Modi would also jointly inaugurate three projects, but declined to disclose the names of the projects.

Asked about the agenda of the talks, Kumar said he does not want to prejudge what will be discussed but the focus of the discussion will be on bilateral relationship and other issues of mutual interest.

Responding to a question over Assam’s National Register of Citizens (NRC), Kumar said, “India’s position on this is very clear. It’s an ongoing exercise.”

He said they have been saying that the NRC was Supreme Court-mandated and monitored process, and it is important to understand that the due process has to be completed first.

Issues like bringing down border killings to a zero level, combating regional terrorism, anti-dumping, enhancing cooperation in energy and water sharing will also be discussed during the meeting.

Dr Momen said the two prime ministers will talk about water-sharing of seven common rivers, including Teesta at the bilateral meeting.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina reached New Delhi on Thursday morning and joined the World Economic Forum (WEF) Summit.

Welcoming Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in New Delhi, India on Thursday described its relations with Bangladesh as a “relationship of utmost priority”.

“A relationship of utmost priority,” Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) tweeted sharing the photos of Prime Minister Hasina’s arrival in New Delhi as part of her official visit.

The MEA also said Bangladesh and India share “multifaceted relations” which go far beyond the strategic partnership.

Sheikh Hasina will also meet Indian President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday.

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