Teesta Water-Sharing: Dipu Moni ‘Hopeful’

ZEE NEWS: Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dipu Moni on Sunday night said her country “is sure” that the Teesta water-sharing agreement with India will materialise.

“We are sure the agreement will materialise. The people of Bangladesh are also optimistic about it,” Moni told reporters in Kolkata on the sidelines of a function, where she was conferred with the Mother Teresa International Award for excellence in social work.

It could not be immediately known for what specific social work she was conferred with the prestigious award.

“Water is a very important issue. People of Bangladesh also want this agreement to be signed. Bilateral relation between India and Bangladesh is a deep-rooted one. Teesta agreement will be signed soon,” she said on arriving here on a two-day private visit.

The agreement had to be scrapped during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Dhaka last September following last minute objection by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to the quantum of water to be given to Bangladesh.

Moni said both the countries were forging ahead to strengthen the bilateral relation and fulfilling the agreements signed between the two countries during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Dhaka last year and Sheikh Hasina’s trip to Delhi in January 2010.

IANS: Stressing that people of Bangladesh wanted the Teesta water sharing accord signed with India, Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dipu Moni in Kolkata on Sunday hoped the pact will be inked, saying the two countries were continuing discussions on the issue.

“We are hopeful that the Teesta water sharing accord will be signed. The two countries have continued the bilateral relation and communication that is needed for the accord to see the light of the day,” Moni told media persons on the sidelines of a programme here.

The visiting foreign minister said there exists a deep bond between the two neighbours, to queries whether the failure to sign the Teesta accord would adversely hit bilateral ties.

“The relations between the two countries are deep, and there is a deep bonding between the two nations. And the dialogues and agreements between India and Bangladesh take place on the basis of the bond between us”.

“Water is an important issue. And the people of Bangladesh want the Teesta accord to be signed,” she said.

The Teesta treaty was proposed to be signed during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s trip to Dhaka last year. However, the singing was scrapped following West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s last minute opposition to the quantum of water to be shared with Bangladesh.

Moni said India-Bangladesh ties were now at their best. “The relations between us is just like that which existed in 1971 when the Indian brothers and sisters helped the brothers and sisters of Bangladesh.”

On whether Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will meet Banerjee to dicuss the issue, she said: “No such meeting is scheduled now.”