Manmohan Due in Dhaka this Year
Friday, 07 January 2011

Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh is due to arrive in Dhaka some time this year in reciprocation of his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina's visit to New Delhi in 2010.

India's external affairs minister S M Krishna said on Friday that Singh would visit Bangladesh in 2011. "We are trying to work out a mutually convenient date for the prime minister's visit to Dhaka," he told reporters in New Delhi.

After Hasina's landmark visit to New Delhi in January 2010, a reciprocal tour by Indian prime minister to Dhaka has been on the cards for quite some time and diplomats of the two countries have been discussing possible dates.

While some dates in September and October 2010 were discussed, the visit got postponed as Delhi wanted to have some significant deliverables ready before Singh's visit to Dhaka.

Though EXIM Bank of India and Bangladesh government in August 2010 signed an agreement to implement the US $ One Billion Line of Credit that Delhi had offered to Dhaka during the visit of Hasina, there had not been any significant progress on contentious issues like sharing of water of the Teesta River or settlement of border disputes.

The external affairs minister of India, however, said New Delhi's relations with Dhaka had witnessed "an upward swing over the last several months".

Referring to India's engagements with its neighbours in South Asia, Krishna said the 25-year-old SAARC process was maturing and gaining greater salience.

"Discharging our responsibilities in an asymmetrical and non-reciprocal manner, India has contributed proactively towards initiating most of the major SAARC programmes and projects."

He said: "The South Asia University in Delhi began its first academic session in 2010. Such initiatives, including in the spheres of connectivity and people-to-people relations, have served to catalyze intra-regional engagement as well as our bilateral relationships."

Krishna said: "India would like to see SAARC contribute more robustly to our vision of building a peaceful and prosperous neighbourhood."

Source: bdnews24.com

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