India to sign civil nuclear energy agreement with Bangladesh

New Delhi [India], Apr. 6 (ANI): India will sign an inter-governmental agreement on civil nuclear energy with Bangladesh during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's four-day visit to India beginning Friday.

"We will be entering into an inter-governmental agreement on civil nuclear energy with Bangladesh," said Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Joint Secretary Sripriya Ranganathan.

She said India is expecting to sign over 20 agreements with Bangladesh during this visit.

"We are expecting to sign agreements in defence, cyber security, trade and investment, science and technology, information and communications technology, shipping, bus services etc.," she said.

Ranganathan further said the two countries will also be launching bus service connecting two cities of India and Bangladesh and a train service between West Bengal and Bangladesh.

The Bangladesh Government had on Monday approved the draft of a proposal to establish a new passenger bus service between Dhaka in Bangladesh and Kolkata in India via Khulna.

The draft of the proposal was approved in a weekly Cabinet meeting presided over by Prime Minister Hasina.

"Under the agreement, a new route to Kolkata from Dhaka via Mawa, Gopalganj, Khulna, Jessore, Benapole will be opened," Dhaka Tribune quoted Cabinet Secretary Shafiul Alam as saying.

Bangladesh Foreign Minister A.H. Mahmood Ali had on Tuesday said that 33 MoUs are likely to be signed during Prime Minister Hasina's official visit to New Delhi.

Addressing the media in Dhaka ahead of the visit, Mahmood said the visit will be aimed at expanding bilateral trade, boosting investment, connectivity and sub-regional assistance.

Construction of Padma and Ganges barrages, distribution of common river water, border management and fighting cross-border drugs and human trafficking are among the other issues likely to be discussed between both sides.

The Bangladesh Prime Minister will also honour 1,661 Indian soldiers, who lost their lives during the 1971 Liberation War, he said.

All agreements will be made public, Ali said at a media briefing in Dhaka.

He added the deals to be signed are tied to the establishment of border posts, information exchange, nuclear power, science, technology, electricity, energy and defence.

When asked about the defence agreements and possibility of a breakthrough on the Teesta water sharing agreement, Ali said that he would not go into specifics, adding everything would be done in a transparent manner. (ANI)