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Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina to visit India from 7-10 April, Teesta water dispute likely to be on agenda

Dhaka: Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will pay a state visit to India from 7 to 10 April to further expand the cordial and cooperative relationship between the two neighbours, an official statement said today. Hasina would travel to India after seven years on an invitation extended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, it said.

The two leaders will hold official talks in New Delhi on 8 April, according to the statement issued in Dhaka. "The upcoming visit is expected to further expand the cordial and cooperative relationship between India and Bangladesh and build on the strong ties of friendship and trust between the two leaders," said the statement jointly issued by the two foreign ministries in Dhaka and New Delhi.

A file photo of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. PTI

A file photo of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. PTI

Hasina last visited India in January 2010. Her trip comes two years after Modi's visit to Bangladesh in June 2015. She was expected to travel to India in December 2016 but her visit was postponed amid speculation that it was not a suitable time to discuss Teesta water sharing issue given the preoccupation of the Indian government post-demonetisation and the unease in relations between the Centre and West Bengal, a key stakeholder in the issue.

Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar in February met Hasina in Dhaka after which Bangladesh announced that the visit would take place in April.

Indian High Commissioner Harsh Vardhan Shringla after meeting Foreign Secretary Md Shahidul Haque yesterday said they were attaching "highest importance" to the visit, the Bdnews24 reported.

Hasina is the head of government of "a neighbouring friendly country with whom we share the longest land boundary. And both land and maritime boundary issues between the two countries have been resolved within a very short time," Shringla was quoted as saying.

The envoy also said that President Pranab Mukherjee in an "exceptional" gesture invited Hasina to stay at Rashtrapati Bhavan during her visit. "Everything is work in progress. We'll have to see what is possible and what is not possible," he said when asked whether there would be any breakthrough on Teesta water sharing deal.

Published Date: Mar 14, 2017 20:43 PM | Updated Date: Mar 14, 2017 20:43 PM

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