People’s welfare central to Indo-Bangla ties: PM Narendra Modi

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi met his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina on Saturday. Issues involving connectivity, development assistance, people to people relations, culture and other matters of mutual interest were discussed during the meeting.

The two sides signed seven agreements covering matters related to connectivity, cultural ties, development assistance, river water cooperation and security cooperation.

The two heads of governments also jointly inaugurated three projects related to trade, skill development and cultural relations.

The Prime Minister said that with this joint inauguration, a total of twelve projects have been jointly inaugurated by the two sides this year.

This meeting which comes immediately after the two leaders met last month on the side lines of the UNGA reflects the growing ties and the friendly relations between the two nations.

The list of agreements that were signed between the two sides are the following:

  1. Agreement on Standard Operating Procedure of use of the Chattogram and Mongla ports in Bangladesh,
  2. Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on withdrawal of 1.8 Cusecs of water from the Feni River for drinking water project in Sabroom district of Tripura state in India,
  3. Agreement on implementation of Government of India’s Line of Credit assistance program,
  4. MOU between the Universities of Hyderabad and Dhaka,
  5. Agreement on renewal of Cultural Exchange Program,
  6. MOU on cooperation on youth affairs and
  7. MOU on providing coastal surveillance.

The projects that were jointly inaugurated were the following:

  1. Import of bulk Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) from Bangladesh into North East India.
  2. India-Bangladesh professional skill development center at Khulna, Bangladesh and
  3. Vivekananda Bhawan at the Ramakrishna Mission in Dhaka.

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Earlier in the day, Minister of External Affairs S. Jaishankar called on the visiting Prime Minister and discussed further avenues of cooperation. The latter is also expected to call on the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind later today in the afternoon.

In recent times, India’s concerns related to security in the North East has been addressed by Bangladesh and this has paved way for greater cooperation in areas related to connectivity, energy ties and other areas.

Concerns related to the recent NRC exercise, Teesta river water sharing agreement remain as possible irritants.

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