India, Bangladesh sign 22 agreements; Modi assures early solution of Teesta issue

PM Modi held extensive discussions with his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina on ways to strengthen the strategic partnership between the two countries.

Published: 08th April 2017 02:33 PM  |   Last Updated: 08th April 2017 07:32 PM   |  A+A-

Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacting with his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina during a joint press conference at Hyderabad house in New Delhi on Saturday. | PTI

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: There was no water component in the 22 pacts inked by India and Bangladesh following bilateral talks between Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Sheikh Hasina here. 

Some of the key pacts signed between the two countries were agreements on peaceful use of space, civil nuclear energy, giving $500 million line of credit for purchase of defence equipment.

The Teesta Water Sharing agreement would have been equivalent to the historic formalization of the 40-years-old land agreement that led to resolution of enclaves. However, continued opposition from West Bengal Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee meant that the Bangladesh Prime Minister will have to go back to Dhaka without the agreement on 50-50 sharing of water of river Teesta during lean season.

Also Read: India commits $500 million credit for Bangladesh military

Addressing a joint press conference after bilateral talks, Prime Minister Modi sought to assure the Bangladesh Prime Minister of Indian efforts in bring the Teesta agreement to a closure.

“I am very happy that Chief Minister of West Bengal is my guest today. Her feeling for Bangladesh as warm as my own. I assure you and people of Bangladesh of our continuing efforts on Teesta. It's only my government and your government that can and will find an early solution to Teesta water sharing issue," Modi said.

Read: India, Bangladesh offer template of good ties for Pakistan to see

In her statement Prime Minister Hasina also made a reference to the Teesta Agreement saying: “I hope we get India's support in resolving all issues expeditiously." 

Read: Modi, Hasina flag off trial run of India-Bangladesh passenger train

West Bengal Chief Minister Banerjee was also present during the function as the two countries inked a pact for starting Kolkata-Khulna-Dhaka bus service and Kolkata-Khulna train service.

Bangladesh is important for India from security perspective as well. Bangladesh shares porus border with India from three sides and; extremists and criminal crossing over is a big problem for both the country. 

Sheikh Hasina government has taken several measures after coming to power to deal terrorist threat inimical to India. 

Read: India, Bangladesh to step up anti-terror cooperation

Applauding Bangladesh’s efforts, Prime Minister Modi said in his statement: “We have the greatest admiration for Prime Minister Hasina for her firm resolve in dealing with terrorism. Her government has zero tolerance towards terrorism which is an inspiration."


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