Delhi looking forward to work with Bangladesh

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The newly formed Indian government is ready to work with the Awami League-led government of Bangladesh, Syed Akbaruddin, spokesperson of the Indian Foreign Ministry said yesterday.

He was talking to the press at the airport before Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj departed for New Delhi.

“All other issues internal to Bangladesh will need to be addressed and resolved by the people of Bangladesh,” Akbar said in response to a question.

Sushma arrived in Dhaka on Wednesday on a goodwill visit, her first trip abroad as the foreign minister.

Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali and Sushma had official talks on Thursday. Sushma also met President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Akbaruddin said Sushma had also met BNP Chief Khaleda Zia, Leader of the Opposition Rawshan Ershad and two advisers to the prime minister – Gowher Rizvi and Mashiur Rahman.

“The external affairs minister goes back to India and hopes to build on what we feel is an excellent start in our new government’s relationship with Bangladesh,” he said.

Sushma hopes to continue to work with the leadership of Dhaka to take the India-Bangladesh relationship forward, he added.

“We take back home with us an understanding that across the widespread spectrum of Bangladeshi government and society, there is a desire for and feeling of greater friendship, greater cooperation and greater interaction with India,” he said.

Meanwhile, after the meeting with Sushma, prime minister’s Economic Adviser Mashiur Rahman said they had discussed cooperation in development.

“After the change of the government in India, the foreign minister reconfirmed that the friendship and cooperation with Bangladesh will remain intact, will move forward and deepen,” Mashiur said.

However, he said they did not discuss issues related to the Teesta water sharing, the land boundary agreement and the border killing.

When asked if they discussed internal politics, he said: “It was not discussed with us, but it has been conveyed by the Indian government that they have no intention of interfering in the domestic affairs of Bangladesh.”

When asked about Khaleda Zia’s meeting with Sushma, Mashiur said: “I do not deal with those issues. The foreign minister can say more about it.”

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s younger sister Sheikh Rehana and daughter Saima Wazed Putul too met Sushma at the Hotel Sonargaon yesterday morning.

Source: Dhaka Tribune

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