DHAKA, DELHI TO WORK CLOSELY
Bangladesh and India on Sunday issued a joint declaration with a renewed pledge to work closely in elevating regional, sub-regional cooperation and in the UN and other multilateral organizations, including WTO, for the benefit of the people in the region, reports BSS.
According to the declaration, Indian Prime Minister Modi appreciated Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for her support to innovative ideas for enhancing sub-regional cooperation and connectivity and her commitment to the betterment of bilateral ties with India.
Indian External Affairs Secretary Subrahmanyam Jaishankar read out the joint declaration at a press conference at Hotel Sonargaon here this afternoon prior to departure of Narendra Modi concluding his two-day state visit to Bangladesh.
Jaishankar said that the two premiers during their official talks reaffirmed their unequivocal and uncompromising position against extremism and terrorism in all forms and manifestations, as well as their commitment to cooperate with each other by sharing information about groups and persons indulging in terrorism.
“They reiterated their commitment that their respective territories would not be allowed to be used for any activity inimical to the others,” he added.
Jaishankar said the two prime ministers also noted that India and Bangladesh have entered a new phase in bilateral relations with a pragmatic, mature and practical approach based on sovereignty, equality, friendship, trust and understanding for the mutual benefit of their peoples and collective prosperity of the region.
He said when the Teesta issue came up for discussion during the meeting of the two prime ministers, Modi conveyed Sheikh Hasina that deliberations are underway involving all stakeholders with regard to conclusion of the interim agreements on sharing of waters of the Teesta and Feni rivers as soon as possible.
The two prime ministers noted that discussions on various aspects relating to sharing of waters of the Manu, Muhuri, Khowai, Gumti, Dharla and Dudhkumar rivers were taking place at technical level meeting and asked the officials concerned to expedite the process to conclude the sharing arrangements at the earliest.
“The two prime ministers recalled Article-2 of the Framework Agreement on Cooperation for Development of 2011 and reiterated their commitment to address the issue of water resources management of common rivers, including water sharing, in a holistic manner through common basin management,” he added.
Jaishankar, however, said that Modi reiterated his commitment that India would not take any unilateral decision on the Himalayan component of their River Interlinking Project which may affect Bangladesh.
In this connection, he told Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina that the Tipaimukh Hydroelectric Power Project is not likely to be taken forward in its present form due to statutory requirements on the Indian side and that “India would not take any unilateral decision on this matter that may adversely impact Bangladesh.”
He said both the prime ministers expressed deep satisfaction at the level of cooperation and achievements in the power sector between the two countries and agreed to widen the cooperation further.
The joint declaration said the two prime ministers agreed to further enhance cooperation in energy sector particularly in renewable energy and nuclear energy and in the field of civil nuclear energy, especially training for technical personnel.
Jaishankar said Prime Minister Modi recalled with deep respect the visionary leadership of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and lauded the impressive socioeconomic development in Bangladesh under the leadership of Prime Minister Hasina.
Prime Minister Modi emphasized the importance and need to increase Indian investment in Bangladesh and underscored the role of the private sector in this regard, he added.
The joint declaration said that both the prime ministers stressed on preserving the memory and legacy of the Great Liberation War and the freedom fighters.
In this connection, it said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina sought assistance from India in bringing back the mortal remains of valiant freedom fighters of Bangladesh who had been buried in Indian soil during 1971 War of Liberation.
In reply, Indian Prime Minister Modi agreed to extend necessary cooperation in this regard when Sheikh Hasina recalled with gratitude India’s enormous contribution to the glorious Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971.
The two premiers stressed the need for effective implementation of the Coordinated Border Management Plan (CBMP) for better border management so as to prevent cross-border criminal activities, irregular movement, incidents of violence and tragic loss of lives.
During the talks, it said the two prime ministers recalled the shared bonds of history, tradition, aspirations and multitude of other commonalities between the two countries and reiterated their firm conviction to further strengthen the existing bilateral ties.
Prime Minister Hasina appreciated Prime Minister Modi for his dynamic and pragmatic approach in leading the largest democracy and one of the largest and fastest growing economies in the world.
Prime Minister Modi deeply appreciated the Sheikh Hasina’s government for allowing transshipment of 25,000 MT of foodgrains to Tripura across Bangladesh territory on humanitarian cause.
At the talks, Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended an invitation to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to pay a visit to India. The invitation was accepted and it was agreed that the visit would take place at a mutually convenient date.
The joint declaration “Notun Projonmo – Nayi Disha”, also covered Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s total engagements in Dhaka during his two-day trip here at the invitation of his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina.
They included meeting with the President, delegation levels talks with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, flagging off the two bus services connecting Bangladeshi and Indian cities, paying visit to Dhakeswari Temple and Ramakrishna Mission, speaking at a public event at the Bangabandhu International Convention Centre (BICC) and joining signing ceremony of a number of deals between the two countries.
Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Pankaj Saran and Official Spokesperson for Ministry of External Affairs of India, Vikas Swarup, among others, were present at the briefing.
JUNE 10, 2015