Kolkata: Stressing that people of Bangladesh wanted the Teesta water sharing accord signed with India, Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dipu Moni Sunday hoped the pact will be inked, saying the two countries were continuing discussions on the issue. “We are hopeful that the Teesta water sharing accord will be signed. The two countries have continued the bilateral relation and communication that is needed for the accord to see the light of the day,” Moni said on the sidelines of a programme here.
The visiting foreign minister said there exists a deep bond between the two neighbours, to queries whether the failure to sign the Teesta accord would adversely hit bilateral ties. “The relations between the two countries are deep, and there is a deep bonding between the two nations. And the dialogues and agreements between India and Bangladesh take place on the basis of the bond between us. Water is an important issue. And the people of Bangladesh want the Teesta accord to be signed.”
The Teesta treaty was proposed to be signed during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s trip to Dhaka last year. However, the singing was scrapped following West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s last minute opposition to the quantum of water to be shared with Bangladesh.
Moni said India-Bangladesh ties were now at their best. “The relations between us is just like that which existed in 1971 when the Indian brothers and sisters helped the brothers and sisters of Bangladesh.”
On whether Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will meet Banerjee to dicuss the issue, she said: “No such meeting is scheduled now.”
She said the maiden sitting of the Indo-Bangla joint commission at foreign ministers’ level set up as an institutional mechanism to implement the agreements signed between the two countries last year will be held in Delhi May 7. “I will have a meeting with Indian Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna and have discussions on various issues.”
Moni welcomed US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s upcoming visit to India and Bangladesh. “She is welcome to the region. I have been told she will be visiting Dhaka, Kolkata and New Delhi”.
The Bangladesh minister, who arrived on a two-day tour to West Bengal Sunday morning, was presented the award by the Mother Teresa international committee.
She will leave for Midnapore on a private visit Monday.