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Hasina-Manmohan meeting short on talk, big on curiosity
Publication Date : 29-09-2013
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh had an exclusive meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York yesterday.
The two leaders discussed, among other issues, land boundary agreement, Teesta water sharing treaty and power purchase.
After delegation-level talks, Hasina and Manmohan had a 20-minute one-to-one meeting, said diplomatic sourcs.
Foreign Minister Dipu Moni, Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid and other high officials from both sides were present during the delegation-level discussion.
PM’s Media Adviser Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury said the prime minister will give details of the meeting at her press conference in the afternoon.
Diplomatic circles in Dhaka and New Delhi considered the meeting significant with general elections nearing in both countries.
It is believed that Hasina briefed Manmohan about her government’s stance on holding the polls as per the country’s constitution, which means without a caretaker government.
The meeting focused on how the Awami League-led government wants to hold the election and resolve the present political crisis, diplomatic sources said.
The Indian PM expressed his government’s commitment to resolve all pending issues with Bangladesh and tried to make Hasina understand that India’s ruling Congress is sincere about finalising the land boundary deal and signing the Teesta water sharing treaty.
Sources in the ruling Awami League said Hasina hoped to use the Indian influence to improve her government’s relations — now fraught with tensions — with the US.
Hasina was also scheduled to meet UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at 2:20am (Bangladesh time) today.