Bangladesh pleased with consequence of talks between Sheikh Hasina and Narendra Modi: FM Momen

Dhaka, December 17

Bangladesh Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen on Thursday said that Dhaka was happy with the outcome of the talks between Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, saying all issues of concern were raised during the summit.

Hasina held a virtual summit with Modi on Thursday during which various important issues were discussed.

The summit came a day after Bangladesh celebrated the 49th anniversary of its victory against Pakistan.

Bangladesh won the war against Pakistan on December 16, 1971 with India’s support.

“We raised all kinds of issues we have with India . . . the summit outcome was very good (and) we are happy,” Momen told reporters here.

“Our prime minister drew the attention of Prime Minister Modi about equitable water sharing of common rivers while the Indian side showed their empathy towards it,” he added.

Momen said Bangladesh urged India to hold the long pending ministerial-level Joint River Commission (JRC) meeting to resolve the proposed Teesta treaty and reach agreements on six other major common rivers namely — Manu, Muhuri, Khowai, Gumti, Dharla and Dudhkumar.

“India agreed in principle regarding the (Teesta) agreement long ago but yet to implement it,” he said, simultaneously noting that New Delhi was consulting with domestic stakeholders to get them onboard, in an apparent reference to West Bengal.

The joint statement issued after the talks said Hasina stressed early signing of an interim agreement on Teesta waters, as agreed upon by both the governments in 2011 while Modi reiterated New Delhi’s sincere commitment and continued efforts towards that end.

Momen said Prime Minister Modi assured Dhaka of providing ‘3 crore’ or 30 million doses of the potential COVID-19 vaccines to Bangladesh as soon as it would be available in India.

“We hope we will get the vaccine from India at a friendly price,” Momen said.

Momen said the issue of border killing remained as a “stigma” despite the current “golden chapter” in bilateral relations.                              

“Prime Minister Modi assured at the summit that he would ask Indian border guards not to use lethal weapons,” he said.

Later, Vikram K Doraiswami, the Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh, also briefed the media on behalf of India about the summit.

Momen said both the prime ministers stressed on full implementation of the ongoing Coordinated Border Management Plan to bring down tragic incidents like border killing to zero.

“Bangladesh premier congratulated her counterpart on India’s election to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and simultaneously expected New Delhi’s assistance in Rohingya repatriation to Myanmar,” he said.

“The Indian side assured us that they believe the only solution to the crisis is repatriation of the displaced people to Myanmar and they will do whatever they need to do…,” he added. — PTI

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