Dhaka – Dhaka and New Delhi have signed seven documents, including one allowing India to withdraw water of a transboundary river, to foster further cooperation between the two South Asian neighbours sharing common history, culture and heritage.
The deals were signed after the official talks between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina, who is now on a four-day official visit to India, at the Hyderabad Bhaban in New Delhi.
Designated officials from both sides singed the documents, which the two prime ministers witnessed.
One of the memoranda of understanding signed between by Bangladesh High Commissioner to India Syed Muazzem Ali and Indian Shipping Secretary Gopal Krishna will allow India to withdraw 1.82 cusec of water from Feni river, located in eastern Bangladesh, for drinking water supply for Sabroom town on Indian state of Tripura.
The two prime ministers also discussed about the sharing of water on transboundary Teesta river, but could not come to any conclusion.
The joint statement issued after the official talks said Prime Minister Hasina highlighted that the people of Bangladesh are awaiting early signing and implementation of the Framework of Interim Agreement for sharing of the Teesta waters, as agreed upon by both governments in 2011.
But Indian Prime Minister informed that his government was working with all stakeholders in India for conclusion of the agreement soonest possible.
Another deal signed was to allow joint coastal surveillance of the two countries.
The other deals are Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) on the use of Chattogram and Mongla ports, Agreement concerning implementation of Indian Line of Credits extended to Bangladesh, educational agreement between University of Hyderabad and University of Dhaka, renewal of cultural exchange programme and co-operation in Youth Affairs.
The joint statement said both sides emphasized simplifying people-people movement between the two countries. The two sides also stressed for the importance of effective border management for ensuring a tranquil, stable and crime free border.
Towards this goal, Modi and Hasina directed respective border forces to complete border fencing at all pending sectors at the International Border between both the countries at the earliest, according to the statement.
Modi and Hasina agreed to enhance cooperation in disaster management.
The two leaders also discussed about the crisis Bangladesh has been facing over 2017 exodus of Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar in the face of a military crackdown.
Hasina and Modi agreed on the need to expedite safe, speedy and sustainable repatriation of the displaced persons to Rakhine State of Myanmar. “They agreed on the need for greater efforts to be made to facilitate their return, including by improving security situation and socio-economic conditions in the Rakhine State of Myanmar,” reads the statement.