India, Bangla sign 7 pacts

India, Bangla sign 7 pacts
PM Narendra Modi with his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina launches a bilateral project after a meeting in New Delhi on Saturday

Hasina raises NRC issue with Modi

New Delhi: India and Bangladesh on Saturday signed seven pacts, including one for setting up of a joint coastal surveillance system as Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina held 'productive and comprehensive' talks to further broadbase bilateral ties.

In the discussions, Hasina also raised her concerns over roll out of National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam, an exercise carried out to identify genuine Indian citizens living in Assam and weed out illegal Bangladeshis.

Government sources said the Indian side conveyed to Hasina that publication of the NRC was a court-monitored process and the final scenario on the issue is yet to emerge.

The issue of Rohingya refugees also figured in the talks and the two Prime Ministers agreed on the need to expedite safe, speedy and sustainable repatriation of the displaced persons to their homes in the Rakhine state of Myanmar, officials said.

A joint statement said Modi appreciated the zero-tolerance policy of the Bangladesh government against terrorism and commended Hasina for her resolute efforts to ensure peace, security and stability in the region.

Both leaders reiterated their strong commitment to eliminate terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and stressed that there can be no justification whatsoever for any act of terror.

After the talks, Modi and Hasina, through video link, launched a project to import LPG from Bangladesh for distribution in the northeastern states, inaugurated a Vivekananda Bhaban at Ramakrishna Mission in Dhaka and unveiled a skill development institute at Khulna.

"India accords priority to its ties with Bangladesh.

The increasing cooperation between India and Bangladesh is a shining example of neighbourly relations for the entire world," Modi said in a brief media statement.

In presence of Hasina, he said Saturday's talks will further energise bilateral ties.

The joint statement said Hasina highlighted that the people of Bangladesh are awaiting early signing of the Teesta water sharing agreement which was agreed upon by both the governments in 2011.

Modi conveyed to Hasina that his government is working with all stakeholders in India for conclusion of the agreement at the earliest.

The seven MoUs signed will provide deepening cooperation in areas of water resources, youth affairs, culture, education and coastal surveillance.

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