Dhaka lid on Singh controversy
By bbsbuzz - Fri Jul 08, 10:01 am
Dhaka, July 7:Dhaka today sought to end the controversy over Manmohan Singh’s remarks about anti-India feelings among a quarter of Bangladeshis, saying “there is no misunderstanding now”.
“Such types of mistakes do happen. There is no scope for any misunderstanding now. We are looking forward to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Bangladesh,” foreign minister Dipu Moni told Indian journalists here.
Asked about Singh’s controversial “off-the-record” remarks that made it to the official transcript before being deleted, Moni recalled that the Bangladesh foreign ministry too had once committed a similar mistake by putting something on its official website and then editing it out.
Moni and visiting Indian foreign minister S.M. Krishna had earlier addressed a joint news conference after signing two agreements, on protection of investments and movement of Bhutanese and Nepalese goods trucks between India and Bangladesh.
Krishna, who arrived yesterday on a three-day visit, told the joint briefing that India had issued a clarification on Singh’s remarks.
He said that during his 15-minute talks with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina this afternoon, he had conveyed to her Singh’s commitment to a strong partnership with Bangladesh. Hasina told him the people of Bangladesh were looking forward to Singh’s visit, he added.
Before he leaves for India tomorrow, Krishna is scheduled to meet Opposition leader Khaleda Zia.
New Delhi and Dhaka today signed an “instrument on promotion and protection of investments” by each other’s investors, a Bangladesh foreign ministry statement said. The day’s other agreement will allow goods trucks from Bhutan and Nepal to enter Bangladesh through a 200-metre corridor in India.
“It (the Dhaka-Delhi relationship) has been on a high trajectory in recent times… there is absolutely no deficit of trust,” Krishna said. He added that Bangladesh-India relations could be a role model for other countries.
Moni agreed, saying: “We are probably witnessing the best period in our bilateral relations.”
Both ministers said they had reviewed all outstanding issues including transit, trade, water-sharing, boundary demarcation, power swap, people-to-people contact, security and frontier management.
They said the two countries had nearly finalised an interim agreement on the Teesta and Feni rivers as well as demarcation of boundaries. The agreements may be signed when Singh comes visiting two months later.
Krishna said Bangladesh would receive 250MW at a “preferential rate” and another 250MW at a rate to be fixed by India’s national power company NTPC.
Asked when the power might start flowing, Krishna said he hoped Bangladesh’s grid would be ready to receive it by the summer of 2013.
“We are happy to know that Bangladesh’s export to India has increased by 56 per cent in the last 10 months, while duty-free apparel export has risen to 10 million pieces from eight million,” he said.
On security issues, Moni said: “We have reiterated to the Indian external affairs minister our unequivocal stand against terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.”