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India, Bangladesh to review projects, discuss Teesta pact


New Delhi : The foreign secretaries of India and Bangladesh will Tuesday hold talks that will review a host of bilateral projects being implemented under an Indian $1 billion soft loan and discuss issues related to the stalled Teesta river-sharing pact and counter-terror cooperation.

Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai will hold annual consultations with his Bangladesh counterpart Mohamed Mijarul Quayes.

“The talks would provide a useful opportunity to review progress in bilateral relations and further strengthen cooperation in a range of areas,” the external affairs ministry said here Monday ahead of the talks.

The two sides are expected to discuss an entire gamut of bilateral issues, including cooperation in political and security related matters, border management and counter-terrorism.

They will also discuss trade and investment, water resources, power cooperation, including in renewable energy, connectivity, development cooperation and increasing people-to-people ties.

Quayes will also call on External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna and National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon.

Dhaka is expected to flag off a host of issues, including the proposed pact on the Teesta river water sharing which still remains stuck due to opposition from West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

The two top diplomats are also expected to discuss ways to fast-track implementation of land boundary agreement and review an array of infrastructure projects which are being implemented under a $1 billion Line of Credit pledged by India over two years ago.

Although counter-terror cooperation has improved considerably in the last two years since Sheikh Hasina came to power in Dhaka, India will make a renewed push for an early signing of an extradition treaty with Bangladesh, said reliable sources.

Issues related to cross-border firing, which create much bad blood between the two countries, will also be discussed.