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Terrorism tops agenda in talks PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 19 July 2008

FS level meet in Delhi

Desk Report

Fighting terrorism topped the agenda at a meeting in New Delhi Thursday between Bangladesh foreign secretary Md Touhid Hossain and his Indian counterpart Shivshankar Menon.

India's long-standing demand for transit facilities and other economic cooperation issues took a back stage.
 
India has been demanding transit facility to reach its seven north-eastern states, separated by Bangladesh.
 
New Delhi sought Dhaka's help in tackling terrorism, particularly "involving militants based in Bangladesh". A list of insurgents from Northeast India, allegedly based in Bangladesh, was also given.
 
"The discussions were very useful and led to much greater understanding of each other's position," Menon told a joint press conference with Hossain after the talks.
 
India, which shares a porous 2,500-mile border with Bangladesh, has blamed several recent bomb attacks on the Islamic group Harkat-ul-Jehad-i-Islami, based in the neighbouring country.
 
Bangladesh has denied any involvement by its citizens.
 
"I fully agree with what he has said. I just have to add one thing that we think this is a global problem. We have a mechanism for cooperation in this sector and we will continue to do that," Hossain told the media here in the Indian capital.
 
Menon said that "terrorism will have to be tackled resolutely" because the security of the two countries is "interlinked".
 
But the two sides focussed on issues of water resources, including sharing of common river waters.
 
The two countries had agreed that a bilateral technical committee would be set up to expedite disputes relating to river waters.
 
"The technical committee should sit very quickly to resolve one small issue that can be resolved quickly which is the embankment protection of the rivers which has been harming the people on both sides of our border. We hope that very soon they will sit and resolve this issue," Hossain said.
 
Hossain added that the discussions were "candid, comprehensive and forward-looking".

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