Ahead of Sheikh Hasina’s visit, India, Bangladesh explore connect with northeast states

Ahead of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to India next month, New Delhi and Dhaka are looking to step up connectivity between India’s northeast states and the neighbouring country. A conclave was held in Dhaka on February 22 which focused on opportunities for cooperation between Northeast India and Bangladesh in the horticulture sector and to also showcase the tourism potential of Northeastern states of India.

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Mamata’s Dhaka visit sets tone for Modi visit

Boosting further the relations between India and Bangladesh, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee undertook a three-day visit to the neighbouring country from February 19. The visit was at the invitation of Bangladeshi Foreign Minister AH Mohmood Ali to participate in the celebration of Bhasha Divash (International Language Day) on February 21. The visit ended successfully, reinforcing the warmth between the two countries.

Mamata Banerjee’s visit was important for many reasons. West Bengal shares around 2000 km, out of the total 4098km, of the border that India has with Bangladesh. This is the longest border that any of the Indian States have with Bangladesh. With such a long border, the relation between the countries greatly depend on the attitude of the bordering States have towards Bangladesh. Cooperation of the bordering States is important for developing the bilateral relations between the two countries. The sharing of the water of the intra-State river Teesta is a good example. In spite of the positive political will, India and Bangladesh could not sign the water sharing agreement during former Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh’s visit to Dhaka in 2011 because of the objection of the agreed draft agreement by Mamata Banerjee.

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