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Hasina, Modi to meet Friday

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi will have a bilateral meeting in New Delhi on Friday evening focusing on important regional issues, reports UNB.

She is scheduled to leave for New Delhi on Friday at noon to attend the G20 Summit at the invitation of her Indian counterpart.

Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen said the two sides will hold important discussions, but due to time constraints, the entire gamut of broader relations may not come up.

Issues related to connectivity, Teesta water sharing, energy security, and food security are likely to be the priority on the agenda.

The foreign secretary said the two countries are involved in many projects together, and their implementation issues may come up.

Bangladesh will raise the Teesta water-sharing issue, along with other issues of mutual interest during the planned bilateral meeting.

“We have the issue of Teesta water-sharing that the Prime Minister will certainly raise. We have other issues. We have 54 common rivers,” Masud Bin Momen told reporters on Sunday, noting that the Ganges water-sharing treaty will expire in 2026.

He said Bangladesh and India had always discussed the Teesta issue at the highest political level. “We always kept it on the agenda. This time around, too, we expect the Prime Minister will talk about it.”

Bangladesh thinks the water-sharing issues between the two countries would be resolved through discussions as the two countries are “mentally agreed” to work on the basis of mutual understanding.

Recalling earlier discussions, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina reiterated Bangladesh’s longstanding request for concluding the interim agreement on the sharing of the waters of the Teesta River, the draft of which was finalized in 2011.

During PM Hasina’s state visit to India in September last year, both leaders also directed the officials to work together to address issues such as pollution in rivers and to improve the riverine environment and river navigability with respect to common rivers.

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s participation at the G20 Summit in New Delhi from September 9-10 will add yet another feather to the ‘Golden Chapter’ in Dhaka-Delhi ties.