The ongoing India-Bangladesh bilateral talks between Indian PM Narendra Modi and Bangladeshi PM Shaikh Hasina has led to the signing of 22 MoUs between the two countries. The pacts are aimed at improving stability in the region along with the strengthening ties between the two nations.
Defence and Nuclear Pacts
Among the 22 pacts, defence and nuclear energy pacts are the key MoUs to be signed. The defence pact will see India extend a $5 billion line of credit to Bangladesh for the purposes of purchasing defence equipment. It is hoped that this move will reduce China’s influence on Bangladesh, which presently purchases a significant part of its equipment from China. India will be offering Bangladesh assistance in developing its nuclear energy program, in a joint venture with Russia, to serve Bangladesh’s growing nuclear demands.
Other Bilateral Agreements
The agreements also include a $4.5 billion loan for development assistance, making it India’s largest soft loan and the third line of credit extended to Bangladesh. Four agreements were also signed with regard to maritime navigation. These agreements aim to improve the movement of goods and passengers between the two countries. The two countries have also agreed to increasing cooperation in the judicial sector to promote training and academic programmes in the sector.
The present talks between India and Bangladesh, however, will not include a pact on Teesta as the Modi government is keen on including West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee in any discussion on the Teesta issue.