External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Saturday called on visiting Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina ahead of a bilateral meeting with her counterpart Narendra Modi later in the day.
During the meeting, the two sides are likely to sign six to seven MoUs in the areas of connectivity, capacity-building and culture after the talks at the Hyderabad House in Delhi.
“The bilateral relations have never been so close. Naturally, the focus of discussion will be on bilateral relationship. When I say bilateral relationship, we are talking about the next steps the two countries should take now to get the relationship in a different trajectory,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said at a briefing on Friday.
The two neighbours also expected to ink another agreement for the supply of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) from Bangladesh to India’s northeast.
Omera Petroleum and Beximco LPG will export LPG to the state-owned Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), which will bottle and sell to consumers
Another likely deal was for a new waterway to connect the Meghna river in Bangladesh with the Gomati in Tripura.
During her meeting with PM Modi, Hasina is very likely to raise the issue of sharing of Teesta river waters, and also the National Register of Citizens (NRC).
In a meeting at Lotte New York Palace hotel on the sidelines of the 74th UN General Assembly in New York, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had assured Hasina that the NRC would have “no impact on Bangladesh” and there was no need to be worried about it.
Modi had further said that issues like the NRC and water-sharing could be taken care of very easily as the relations between Bangladesh and India were very good.
The issue of repatriation of Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh to Myanmar and arms purchase from India is also likely to be discussed.
Sheikh Hasina arrived in New Delhi on a four-day visit on Thursday.
On Thursday, Hasina joined the World Economic Forum summit as the chief guest. Over 800 leaders from 40 countries took part in the two-day Summit.
This is her first visit to India after assuming office for a third consecutive term.
On Sunday, Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi would call on the Bangladeshi PM. Noted Indian filmmaker Shyam Benegal, who is directing a film on Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, will also call on her.
Bangladesh and India have inked over 100 agreements in the last 10 years, 68 of which were concluded in the last three years alone. India also rolled out three lines of credit to Bangladesh worth $7.5 billion including $200 million grants for different development projects.