Dhaka, Sep.6 (ANI): Expressing his satisfaction over bilateral talks between the Indian and Bangladeshi delegations, the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, on Tuesday said the several agreements signed and the joint statement being issued reflected the richness and diversity of cooperation between the two nations.
He said that both countries would now have to ensure that the "fruits of our cooperation lead to improvement in the lives of our people."
In opening statement read out by him at the interaction with the media after the talks, Dr. Singh said he had wide ranging and indepth discussions with Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and was hopeful that they would build upon the momentum set by the latter's visit to India in January last year.
"Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and I have had very wide ranging and indepth discussions. These have built upon the momentum of the prime minister's historic visit to India in 2010. We have agreed on a new architecture for our partnership.This will open new vistas of bilateral cooperation, strengthen regional cooperation within South Asia and set an example of good neighbourly relations," Dr. Singh said.
Recalling that this was his second visit to Bangladesh as Prime Minister after the 2005 SAARC Summit, Dr. Singh said he was deeply impressed by the changes that had taken place in the country since then.
"The Bangladesh economy is doing well and the socio-economic transformation of Bangladesh is proceeding rapidly ahead. Relations between India and Bangladesh enjoy our highest priority. There is a national consensus in India that India must develop the best possible relations with Bangladesh," the Prime Minister said.
Commenting on the bilateral agreements signed, Dr. Singh described the Framework Agreement on Cooperation for Development as a contemporary blueprintesigned to encompass all forms and sectors of cooperation.
On the Protocol to the Land Boundary Agreement of 1974, he said: "Both our countries have now demarcated the entire land boundary as well as resolved the status of enclaves and adversely possessed areas.
He also announced that both sides have agreed on providing 24-hour access to the enclaves of Dahagram-Angarpota through the Tin Bigha Corridor.
On the two sides not being able to arrive at an agreement on the river waters issue, Dr. Singh said: Our common rivers need not be sources of discord, but can become the harbingers of prosperity to both our countries. We have decided to continue discussions to reach a mutually acceptable, fair and amicable arrangement for the sharing of the Teesta and Feni river waters."
Stating India was fully alive to the problem of trade imbalance with Bangladesh, he said he was pleased to announce that New Delhi would provide duty free access to the Indian market to 46 textile tariff lines as requested by Bangladesh with immediate effect.
He also said that both India and Bangladesh have embarked on a series of measures to improve border infrastructure, adding that this would facilitate Bangladesh's exports to India and provide it greater opening to India and other neighbouring countries.
The two countries would also address issues relating to non-tariff barriers in due course, he said.
In conclusion, he said: " India is committed to assisting Bangladesh in its development efforts.India is a true and genuine partner of Bangladesh. We will do thetmost to build this relationship on a sustained basis." By Smita Prakash (ANI)