Hasina hopes India, Bangladesh will resolve disputes amicably

May 25, 2018 03:53 PM

Punjab News Express
SANTINIKETAN (WEST BENGAL): Without mentioning the contentious Teesta issue, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Friday hoped that the two countries will be able to resolve all their problems amicably.

"We always want to walk together as neighbours. There can be issues between neighbouring countries," Hasina said after inaugurating the Bangladesh Bhavan here with her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was present.

"We have resolved many issues. Maybe there are a few left. I don't want to raise the issue and spoil this beautiful function. But I do hope whatever the problem is, it can be solved amicably," she said.

Hasina's remarks came a day after Bangladesh Cultural Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Noor reiterated that the Modi government does not have any objection to the Teesta water sharing treaty.

Besides the Teesta issue, there are several other bilateral issues including the trade imbalance, rail and water connectivity.

Claiming that a water sharing deal on Teesta river with Bangladesh may jeopardise the daily lives of residents in northern West Bengal, Banerjee has said she would have no problems in providing water to Dhaka provided the Centre was ready to look at "suitable alternatives".

Banerjee has suggested that the two countries carry out a study on tapping water of rivers like Torsa, Dharla and Mansai.

In September 2011, Banerjee had embarrassed then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh by pulling out of his delegation to Bangladesh over the water sharing agreement, forcing India to drop it from the agenda.

Incidentally, Hasina, during her visit to India in 2017, had said that a resolution of the long-pending Teesta water sharing issue would transform bilateral ties with India.

Banerjee and Hasina are slated to meet in Kolkata on Saturday but the former on Thursday ruled out any discussions on the Teesta issue.

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