Dhaka hopeful of early deal

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New Delhi has assured Dhaka that the process for building necessary domestic consensus has been under way in India for signing the long-pending Teesta water agreement.
The assurance was given by Indian external affairs secretary Mrs Sujatha Singh during official talks with Bangladesh foreign secretary Shahidul Haque at the Indian ministry of external affairs on Thursday.
Shahidul reiterated the hope of an early conclusion of the Teesta water sharing agreement while expressing concern over the discriminatory fall in the water flow in the Teesta to Bangladesh in the recent months.
On the issue of the fall in Teesta water flow to Bangladesh, Sujata said that India was taking it ‘very seriously’ and had already asked its technical team concerned to immediately look into it.
On land boundary deal, Shahidul appreciated that the bill for ratification of the land boundary agreement by India had been tabled in the Rajya Sabha and expressed hope that it would soon be adopted.
The foreign secretaries discussed the entire gamut of bilateral relations, including security, border management, trade and investment, power, water, connectivity, people-to-people contact, regional, sub-regional and international cooperation.
They pledged to work more closely for trade facilitation such as development of infrastructure, removal of non-tariff and para-tariff barriers and mutual recognition of standards and certificates.
Both sides placed emphasis on taking effective steps to enhance connectivity in the region. In this context, they expressed their commitment to expedite the work on coastal shipping connectivity.
About cooperation in the power sector, the foreign secretaries stressed the need for putting in place the necessary infrastructure urgently for
supplying additional 500 megawatts of power to Bangladesh through the Bheramara-Baharampur grid inter-link and 100 MW of power from Palatana plant in Tripura.
On the issue of security and border management, Shahidul appreciated the efforts by the Indian side to exercise utmost restraints on the border and hoped that it would bring down killing of Bangladesh nationals to zero.
Sujata responded that sustained efforts had significantly reduced the number of killings but even a single killing was regrettable. She reiterated the commitment of the highest level of India to bring down the killings to zero.

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