8:13 am - Saturday November 7, 2015

Swaraj meets Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina in first official foreign visit; discussed key bilateral issues

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External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj today called on Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and discussed key bilateral issues.

Swaraj, who arrived here late last night on her first trip abroad, met Hasina after holding talks with her Bangladeshi counterpart Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali. Though there are no pacts to be signed and no big expectations, the trip, which is termed as a “goodwill” visit, is aimed at taking forward the bilateral ties which are on a “positive trajectory” for past few years.

Teesta water sharing and Land Boundary Agreement are on top of the Foreign Minister’s agenda during this visit. The foreign minister will also meet opposition party, Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) chief Khaleda Zia and Jatiya Party leader Rowshan Ershad tomorrow. Swaraj’s visit comes at the invitation of her Bangladeshi counterpart Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali, and is expected to give a new push to India’s bilateral relationship with Bangladesh.

Earlier, ahead of her visit to Bangladesh, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj today spoke to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee about the two-day trip. According to official sources, Swaraj made a call to Banerjee to “touch-base” and tell her about the visit during which the External Affairs Minister will hold talks with top Bangladeshi leadership on key bilateral issues including Land Boundary Agreement (LBA), proposed Teesta river pact and illegal immigration to India. However, the sources refused to give any further details about the conversation between Swaraj and Banerjee.

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