Aug 2 : The Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh on Friday met the Chief Adviser of Bangladesh, Dr. Fakhruddin Ahmad in Colombo to discuss bilateral relations including the matters on stopping recurrence of border incidents.
The two leaders also underscored the need for regular meetings of the various mechanisms set up to address bilateral issues, including the one on the sharing of common rivers’ waters. The meeting on the sidelines of the SAARC Summit assumes importance as Bangaladesh has announced plans to move towards elections in December. The Bangladesh Election Commission has already issued biometric identity cards to over eight crore of its voters ahead of the elections. India and Bangladesh will also review the issues like withdrawal of non-tariff barriers, access of Bangladeshi items to Indian market, further opening up of trade and international cooperation.
Earlier, in his talks with the External Affairs Minister, Mr. Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday, Bangladesh Foreign Affairs Advisor, Mr. Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury discussed the recent incidents along Bangladesh-India border in Colombo. He said, Bangladesh will like to continue to maintain a good and friendly relations with neighbouring India. Briefing the media about the talks, the Foreign Secretary, Mr. Shivshankar Menon said that Mr. Chowdhury also briefed the Indian Minister about the internal situation in Bangladesh. Mr. Menon said, both the leaders also discussed strengthening of the SAARC to ensure welfare of the people of the region.