Dhaka: Water sharing and management of trans-boundary rivers will dominate the Indo-Bangladesh Summit on Thursday led by Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen said here.
Momen said the two countries during the summit are scheduled to sign at least five MoUs — Trans-boundary Elephant Conservation to Preserve Biodiversity; Framework Agreement on High Impact Community Development Projects; Barishal Sewerage Treatment Plant; Framework Understanding on Cooperation in Hydrocarbon Sector, and Joint Study on Technology Transfer.
“The victory of Bangladesh is also the victory of India. India helped us in the war of 1971 against Pakistan. Their soldiers sacrificed their lives. Our relation is time-tested,” the Foreign Minister said.
“We will raise all the big issues, including water and border security, at the virtual summit.
“We also have plans to discuss about four contracts on water management, border management, and the Chilahati Kuchbihar Railway reconnect, which will now commence goods trains and passenger trains from March 26, 2021, on the Bangladesh Independence Day,” he added.
According to the Foreign Minister, Hasina will also seek support to build the Bangabondhu Museum.
Quick implementation of projects under Indian Line of Credit (LoC), Covid-19 vaccine cooperation, regional connectivity and border security will be among other important agendas from the Bangladesh side, he mentioned.
During the summit, the two Prime Ministers were likely to inaugurate some projects, including the Chilahati-Haldibari rail link, which remained unused for 55 years; some “high impact projects” being implemented with Indian assistance; a commemorative postal stamp; and the Bangabandhu-Bapu Digital Museum, highlighting the 50th anniversary of Bangladesh’s independence.
“Dhaka would not push for the signing of the Teesta Water Sharing Agreement now,” Momen said.
The summit, which follows the October 2019 Prime Ministerial-level meeting in New Delhi, is, however, likely to set aside concerns that were expressed in Bangladesh over India’s National Register of Citizens and the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Modi has agreed to attend the Independence Day celebrations in Dhaka on March 26 if the Covid-19 situation improves, according to officials from the Bangladesh Foreign Ministry.