New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina held bilateral discussions in New Delhi today and reviewed all aspects of bilateral relations and exchanged views on regional issues. India and Bangladesh exchanged seven bilateral agreements in areas including water resources, youth affairs, culture, education and coastal surveillance following the talks.
Both leaders inaugurated three projects through video conferencing including one on import of bulk LPG from Bangladesh. The other projects are the Vivekananda Bhavan at Ramakrishna Mission in Dhaka and the Bangladesh-India Professional Skill Development Institute, a facility to benefit small and medium enterprises at the Institute of Diploma Engineers.
In his statement, Modi said the two sides launched a total of 12 projects in the last one year, which reflects the intensity in ties between the two sides.
Ms Hasina said ties have been on an upswing in the last few years including in areas of maritime security, civil nuclear energy and trade.
In the India-Bangladesh Joint Statement, both leaders recognised the need for increased cooperation in defence for a secure neighbourhood. They welcomed the initiatives for the development of closer Maritime Security Partnership and noted the progress made in finalization of an MoU on Establishment of Coastal Surveillance Radar System in Bangladesh.
Mr Modi appreciated the zero-tolerance policy of the Bangladesh government against terrorism and commended Ms Hasina for resolute efforts to ensure peace, security and stability in the region.
Ms Hasina conveyed gratitude for the humanitarian assistance provided by India since September 2017 to help meet the needs of the displaced persons from Myanmar.
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.
Both sides recognized that increasing connectivity through air, water, rail, road offers mutually beneficial opportunity for enhancing economic cooperation.
The leaders welcomed the conclusion of Standard Operating Procedures for the use of Chattogram and Mongla ports for movement of goods to and from India. Both Prime Ministers welcomed the increase in the frequency of Maitree Express from 4 to 5 times per week and that of Bandhan Express from 1 to 2 per week.
Government sources said Bangladesh raised National Register of Citizens, NRC issue and it was pointed that it is an ongoing process and there is a need to see how the situation emerges.