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Teesta talks: Bangladesh envoy to meet Mamata today

 

 

Bangladesh High Commissioner in India Syed Muazzem Ali will make a courtesy call on West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday afternoon, June 20, 2016, in a fresh move to resume talks on the prospect of Teesta water-sharing treaty. Star photo taken in 2014, shows the almost dry Teesta river near the Teesta rail and road bridges in Lalmonirhat.

In a fresh move to resume talks on the prospect of Teesta water-sharing treaty, Bangladesh High Commissioner in India Syed Muazzem Ali will make a courtesy call on West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee this afternoon.

With Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj talking yesterday about her country’s initiatives to conclude the Teesta deal, Mofakkharul Islam, first secretary of Bangladesh embassy in Kolkata, termed today’s meeting significant.

A four-member delegation led by Muazzem Ali will meet Mamata at 3:00pm, he told our Kolkata correspondent.

This will be the first meeting of the Bangladesh envoy with Mamata after her recent reelection as West Bengal CM.

There is a possibility of raising the issue of Teesta water-sharing by Bangladesh side and Hilsha on the other in the meeting, the correspondent reported quoting sources on the both sides.

Indian innitiative

Replying to a query on the treaty, Sushma Swaraj yesterday told the media in New Delhi that India is taking initiatives to conclude the deal.

“There are three parties in this. India, Bangladesh, West Bengal government. There were assembly elections in West Bengal. Now that elections are over and Mamata Banerjee is back as chief minister, the federal Indian government will begin talks with Mamata government to finalise the Teesta water sharing treaty.”

Swaraj said no talks on the Teesta issue could be held with the West Bengal government for the last few months because the state was busy with the elections. But with the polls over, the process of talks would resume soon.

It is possible to solve the Teesta issue if the West Bengal government, New Delhi and Dhaka join hands with a firm resolve, she added.

There have been obstacles to the Teesta deal since September 2011 when Mamata, scheduled to visit Dhaka with the then Indian PM Manmohan Singh, opted out of the trip opposing the agreement.

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