High Commission of India, Dhaka
September 10, 2009
September 10, 2009 - Joint Press Statement on the visit of Hon'ble Foreign Minister of Bangladesh Dr Dipu Moni to India
|Following is the text of the Joint Press Statement issued in New Delhi on September 10, 2009 on the visit of Honâ€™ble Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh Dr Dipu Moni to India:
â€śDr. Dipu Moni, MP, Foreign Minister of the Peopleâ€™s Republic of Bangladesh undertook an official visit to India from 7-10 September 2009. During the visit, she held bilateral talks with the External Affairs Minister of the Republic of India Shri S.M. Krishna on a range of issues pertaining to India-Bangladesh relations. Dr. Dipu Moni also called on the Prime Minister of India Dr. Manmohan Singh, Union Minister of Finance Shri Pranab Mukherjee and Union Minister for Water Resources and Parliamentary Affairs Shri Pawan Kumar Bansal. She was accompanied by her spouse Mr. Tawfique Nawaz, Foreign Secretary Ambassador Mijarul Quayes, Director General (South Asia) in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mr. Muhammad Imran and Private Secretary to the Foreign Minister, Mr. Jishnu Roy Choudhury.
The visit was marked by warmth and cordiality and a commitment to strengthen bilateral relations. Each side showed a keenness to respond positively to the concerns of the other.
During Dr. Dipu Moniâ€™s call on the Prime Minister of India, the Prime Minister mentioned that India attached the highest priority to its relations with Bangladesh. He reiterated his invitation to H.E. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to visit India at an early date. He expressed his hope that her visit would write a new chapter in India-Bangladesh relations.
During the official talks, the two Ministers noted the multifaceted nature of relations between the two countries and the historical and traditional bonds of friendship. They also noted that recent elections have provided both countries with a historical opportunity to take India-Bangladesh relations to greater heights. It was in this spirit that both Ministers discussed the entire gamut of bilateral relations and agreed on the following:
- Both sides recognised the need to expedite negotiations with a view to finalize an agreement for sharing of the waters of Teesta river. Towards this end, they agreed to mandate their respective Foreign Offices to meet and discuss the technical and other parameters of this issue. They agreed to immediately commence Joint Hydrological Observations on the river. They also agreed to undertake bank protection works, dredging of Ichhamati river and minor irrigation/drinking water schemes on Feni river.
- The Bangladesh side thanked the Indian side for the hospitality and cooperation extended to the Bangladesh Parliamentary delegation during their visit to the proposed Tipaimukh Dam site. In this context, the Bangladesh side welcomed Indiaâ€™s reassurance that it would not take steps that would adversely impact Bangladesh.
- Both sides recognized the importance of bilateral and regional connectivity. In this context, both sides discussed designating Ashuganj as a new port of call under Article-23 of the Inland Water Transit and Trade Agreement as well as the use of Chittagong port by India. Bangladesh side agreed to provide access to Ashuganj Port to facilitate the transportation of the Over Dimensional Consignments for the Palatana Power Project in Tripura.
- Indian side agreed to facilitate Nepal-Bangladesh and Bhutan-Bangladesh connectivity.
- Both sides agreed to enhance cooperation in the power sector. India agreed to provide at least 100 MW to Bangladesh on a priority basis. Ahead of this, it will also undertake a feasibility study on power grid inter-connectivity for transmission lines, etc. from India to Bangladesh.
- Both sides agreed on the re-opening Sabroom-Ramgarh trade point as well as opening a land route at Demagiri-Thegamukh on the Mizoram border for bilateral trade.
- India agreed in principle to provide a Line of Credit for railway projects and supply of locomotives, coaches and buses. India offered to take up construction of Akhaura-Agartala railway link under Indian assistance.
- India also agreed to assist Bangladesh in the dredging sector.
- Both sides agreed to start Border Haats at the Bangladesh-Meghalaya border for mutual benefit of the people in these areas.
- Both sides agreed to movement of containerised cargo by rail and water for bilateral trade.
- Both sides welcomed the holding of the Joint Working Group on Trade last month and discussed broad economic issues with a view to fully activate all institutional mechanisms to promote two-way trade, initiate long pending trade facilitation measures and facilitate movement of businessmen and professionals. Bangladesh specifically raised the issue of duty free access to Bangladeshi commodities, removal of Non Tariff and Para Tariff Barriers and improvement of infrastructures on the Indian side. Indian side expressed its readiness to assist Bangladesh in strengthening the Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institute. It also requested for removal of barriers to Indian investments and port restrictions for specific commodities.
- Both sides agreed to comprehensively address all outstanding land boundary issues. Both sides expressed their intent to resolve outstanding issues relating to Dahagram and Angarpota enclaves and the Tin Bigha Corridor. Both sides also recognized the need for electrification of Dahagram and Angarpota enclaves as a humanitarian gesture.
- The two Ministers reiterated their resolve to strengthen bilateral co-operation to deter the recurrence of terrorist incidents. Both sides also reiterated their resolve not to allow the use of their territories for activities inimical to each otherâ€™s security interests.
- Both sides agreed to conclude the following three agreements:
a. Agreement for mutual legal assistance on criminal matters,
b. Agreement of transfer of sentenced persons,
c. Agreement on combatting international terrorism, organized crime and illegal drug trafficking.
The two Ministers reiterated their conviction that opportunities for fruitful collaboration between the two countries in furthering mutual interests were enormous and resolved to remain engaged to expeditiously address all bilateral issues.â€ť
September 10, 2009