Dhaka happy about Indo-Bangla talks outcome


Dhaka : Bangladesh has said it is satisfied with the outcome of consultations with Indian Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon that ended with a call for further cooperation in security matters between the two neighbours.

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"Bangladesh believes that goodwill and understanding are key elements in diplomacy and not acrimony and mistrust," Foreign Affairs Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury was quoted as saying by New Age Friday.

Menon had wrapped up his four-day visit Wednesday with a call on Chief Advisor Fakhruddin Ahmed.

Chowdhury noted that the foreign secretaries' meeting ended with pledges from both sides that they would not allow their territories to be used in any way for insurgent activities, and they would further cooperate in sharing information to deal with terrorists, criminals and insurgents to ensure peace and stability in the region.

The talks were followed by the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to facilitate technical cooperation in standardisation, certification, testing, measurement and quality assurance system.

The two sides also agreed to resolve outstanding issues such as the sharing of waters of the common rivers and the demarcation of 6.5 km of land boundary at the earliest.

As for bilateral trade, the two sides discussed issues related to tariff and non-tariff barriers, coordinated development of land customs stations, establishment of market places along the border and facilitation of investments.

Although there is a national emergency and a ban on political activity in Bangladesh, the interim government, perceived as army backed, facilitated Menon's meetings with former prime ministers, Sheikh Hasina and Khaleda Zia.

Both women leaders expressed hope of better ties when they discussed bilateral relations in detail. Media reports said both were allowed one aide each when Menon called.

Menon also had a meeting with the Army chief, Gen. Moeen U Ahmed.

The official level talks took place after a two-year hiatus during which relations witnessed some tension.