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Modi-Hasina talks: 22 pacts signed in key areas including defence and civil nuclear cooperation

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcomes Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Photograph: (AFP)

WION Delhi, India Apr 08, 2017, 08.40 AM (IST)

India and Bangladesh today held bilateral talks on a range of issues including civil nuclear cooperation.

Bangladesh's Prime Minster, Sheikh Hasina, who is on a four-day visit to India, held wide ranging talks with her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi.

The two leaders also discussed the issue of terrorism, with PM Modi expressing admiration for Sheikh Hasina's "zero-tolerance" policy to deal with terrorism.

"We have the greatest admiration for Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's firm resolve in dealing with terrorism. Her government's 'zero-tolerance' policy towards terrorism is an inspiration for all of us," said PM Modi at a joint media event with the Bangladesh PM.

The two countries also resolved to step up anti-terror cooperation. The Indian prime minister termed the spread of radicalism as a "grave threat" not only to the two countries but to the entire region.

"While our partnership brings prosperity to our people, it also works to protect them from forces of radicalisation and extremism. Their spread poses a grave threat, not just to India and Bangladesh but to the entire region," PM Modi said.

Addressing a joint press conference, both the leaders expressed confidence in further strengthening ties between the two neighbours.

Both sides also signed 22 pacts in strategic areas of defence and civil nuclear cooperation, PTI reported.

India extended a 500 billion dollar line of credit to Bangladesh to buy military hardware.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced 4.5 billion dollars of concessional line of credit for implementation of projects in Bangladesh, PTI reported.
  
On the crucial issue of sharing of waters of Teesta river, Prime Minister Modi said that the issue was important for India-Bangladesh ties and assured his Bangladeshi counterpart of India's commitment to it, PTI said.

He said an "early solution can and will be found" to the Teesta water sharing issue.

The Indian prime minister and his Bangladeshi counterpart also inaugurated two rail and a road connectivity project via video conferencing."

The trial run of passenger train service between Bangladesh's Khulna city and Kolkata began today with the arrival of a train at Petrapole along the Indo-Bangla border.

Regular service between the Kolkata station and Khulna will commence in July, Railway officials said.

The two leaders also released the Hindi translation of founding leader of Bangladesh Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's "The Unfinished Memoirs,"a glimpse into the life of an inspiring leader. The leaders also dedicated a road in Delhi to memory of Bangabandhu.

PM Modi and Sheikh Hasina subsequently honoured Indian soldiers martyred in 1971 war for the liberation of Bangladesh at a ceremony in the capital.

Narendra Modi hit out at Pakistan saying it breeds, inspires and encourages terrorism.

"There is one thought in South Asia which breeds, inspires and encourages terrorism. The thought whose priority is not humanity, but extremism and terrorism," Modi said, without naming Pakistan.

Sheikh Hasina, whose Awami League is historically seen as more sympathetic to India than the arch-rival Bangladesh Nationalist Party, said the two countries will jointly produce a documentary on the 1971 War of Liberation of Bangladesh, a move that is likely to irk Pakistan. 

Hasina is the daughter of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who led Bangladesh to independence from Pakistan in 1971. 

The government says that up to three million people died in the independence war, many killed by Bangladeshis who collaborated with Pakistani forces.
 

(WION with inputs from PTI)

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