Buoyed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s maiden visit during which "history" was made by inking the long-pending Land Boundary Agreement, Bangladesh now looks forward to resolving the crucial Teesta water-sharing issue soon.
"We are very happy and delighted," Ali said about the outcome of Modi’s visit as he credited the Prime Minister for bringing a new momentum to the bilateral ties and said Dhaka always wanted to have a deeper relationship with India.
Calling ratification of the LBA between the two countries a major milestone in taking forward the engagement in many more areas, Ali said the common man too could feel the renewed vigour in bilateral ties.
Noting that Modi’s June 6-7 visit laid the foundation for a much "stronger and closer" relationship, the Foreign Minister exuded confidence of resolving the Teesta water sharing issue soon.
"We are hopeful (of finalising it). We have to work through. We have to build upon the goodwill and the camaraderie that has been generated during Modi’s visit. We have to work continuously," he said.
During the visit here, Modi had also expressed confidence of finding a "fair solution" to the long-pending Teesta and Feni river water sharing issue.
Teesta water is crucial for Bangladesh, especially in the leanest period from December to March when the water flow often temporarily comes down to less than 1,000 cusecs from 5,000 cusecs.
Talking about Modi’s reference to India’s support to Bangladesh Liberation War, Ali said both the countries must "restore the sense of togetherness, sense of partnership" which was evident during the country’s "freedom struggle".
"He said that he thought we are reliving 1971. That’s the spirit. We are absolutely with him. This is the way to go forward," Ali said, adding the relationship between the two countries will grow leaps and bounds in days to come.
Praising Modi, Ali said it was because of his "dynamic" leadership that bipartisan support was possible in Indian Parliament to the Constitution amendment bill providing for settling of the 41-year-old land boundary dispute.
"He has also brought together all the parties in Parliament. That was a tremendous achievement," he said.
Asked about the major outcome of Modi’s visit, he said the trip ensured that the "relationship will become stronger and stronger and it will become even closer.
"This is what we always wanted. This is what Bangabandhu’s daughter Sheikh Hasina always wanted. This is the larger objective. You must live as close neighbours," he said.
During the visit, both sides had signed 22 agreements, including on cooperation in maritime safety and to curb human trafficking and fake Indian currency besides a pact on coastal shipping and another an MoU on setting up of Indian Economic Zones.
Modi had also announced a fresh USD 2 billion line of credit for Bangladesh.
Asked about Modi’s visit, former Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dipu Moni described it as a "very significant trip".
"Relationship between Bangladesh and India is very important for a peaceful and prosperous South Asia. It is getting stronger and stronger. We are very happy with his visit," Moni said.
She said the relationship has been on an upswing for the past six years and that Modi’s "charismatic leadership" has made it "more stronger".
On the Teesta pact, she hoped for an early finalisation of the agreement.
"Teesta is an important issue. We are now talking about basin-wise management of our common rivers. So we have widened our horizon. We are confident of finalising it soon," she said.
The Teesta deal was set to be inked during the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Bangladesh in September 2011 but was postponed at the last minute due to objections by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who had also dropped out of the Prime Ministerial delegation.