Enormous possibilities in expanded Indo-Bangla ties: Foreign Secy S Jaishankar

Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Bangaldesh, India said on Saturday there are "enormous possibilities" to expand bilateral ties and that it was looking for a "win-win" situation for both the countries.

New Delhi: Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Bangaldesh, India said on Saturday there are "enormous possibilities" to expand bilateral ties and that it was looking for a "win-win" situation for both the countries.

Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar expressed confidence that the Prime Minister's visit will bring a "new momentum" to the relationship between the two countries.

Responding to questions on the Teesta river water-sharing agreement, he said it was "an issue under discussion".

"In such cases, it's prudent to wait for the results. It's a relationship with enormous possibilities, hopefully we will see that grow," Jaishankar said during a panel discussion on India-Bangladesh relations.

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 Banarjee.

The 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 every year.

Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju, who moderated the discussion, said India was "positively" looking forward to Modi's upcoming visit to Bangladesh.

"He would be making certain announcements, things that are positive. We are thinking in terms of a brighter future," Rijiju said.

During the discussion organised by India Foundation, the Minister also echoed Jaishankar's concerns saying, "some elements vitiate the atmosphere" even as he appreciated the Sheikh Hasina government's efforts to bolster the ties.

"We have a favourable and cooperative government in Bangladesh. Whenever our agencies get in touch with their's we get absolute support, which is very enouraging. So, we are very careful not to allow all these elements to take away the efforts," he said.

Dwelling on the historic Land Boundary Agreement between India and Bangladesh, Rijiu said that borders are "not to divide but unite countries."

Jaishankar welcomed ratification of the LBA by Parliament even as he flagged concern over a "section" trying to create "suspicion" between the two countries. 

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