Khurshid to visit Dhaka


New Delhi : With President Pranab Mukherjee slated to visit Bangladesh in early March, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid is to pay an official visit to Dhaka from Feb 16 -17 at the invitation of his Bangladeshi counterpart.

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Khurshid and Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dipu Moni will co-chair the second meeting of the India-Bangladesh Joint Consultative Commission (JCC).

The Indian external affairs minister’s visit comes days after the visit to Dhaka of Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai, who had during a press conference in the Bangladesh capital, assured that all pending issues with Bangladesh, including the Teesta water sharing agreement, would be concluded “as early as feasible”.

Mathai, who led the Indian delegation to the foreign secretary-level talks on Feb 11, said at a press conference: “We have an unwavering commitment to complete the agreements we have set ourselves to do but our commitment is not linked to any calendar, our commitment is to do it as early as feasible.”

A source said Friday that the Teesta agreement “would be done soon”.

A new secretary of water resources is reported to have been appointed for water sharing negotiations with Bangladesh, a source informed.

The JCC was constituted under the Framework Agreement on Cooperation for Development signed during the visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Bangladesh in September 2011. The first meeting of the JCC was held in New Delhi in May 2012.

Both ministers are to review the progress of initiatives taken under the Framework Agreement since the last meeting and hold discussions on the entire gamut of bilateral relations.

During his visit, Khurshid is scheduled to call on the Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and meet the home and water resources ministers too. He is also expected to call on the Leader of Opposition Begum Khaleda Zia, said an official statement.