Mamata, Hasina discuss bilateral issues (Eds: incorporates related stories, adds details)

Kolkata, Nov 22 (PTI) Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Friday held an over an hour-long courtesy meeting with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee here and discussed a range of bilateral issues.

The issues discussed at the meeting was not disclosed either by the CMO or by the Bangladesh prime minister's office.

It is also not known whether the Teesta river water sharing issue was discussed by the two leaders. Both New Delhi and Dhaka are keen to seal an agreement on it since September 2011.

Banerjee, a key stakeholder in the issue as she is at the helm in West Bengal, has been opposed to the agreement as she maintains that it will affect the people of the state. She had opted out of a visit to Dhaka along with the then Indian PM Manmohan Singh.

Emerging from the meeting, which began at Hasina's suite at a hotel at around 6.15 PM, Hasina told the waiting media that she wants friendly and cordial relation between the two countries to continue and flourish.

'We will always remain grateful for the role played by India during our liberation war. We will never forget it....

India gave shelter to more than one crore refugees from Bangladesh,' she said.

Hasina said she is here at the invitation of BCCI president Sourav Ganguly to inaugurate and watch India's maiden day-night Test match against Bangladesh at the iconic Eden Gardens.

Earlier emerging from the meeting, Banerjee said she had a very 'cordial' meeting with Hasina on bilateral ties.

'It was a courtesy meeting. Both countries share a historic and friendly relationship. We discussed lots of matters regarding both the countries. I have requested her to come again. We want both countries to share cordial and friendly relationship and understanding,' she said.

This was the first meeting between Hasina and Banerjee in the last one-and-a-half years since they had met in Kolkata in May 2018 when the Bangladesh premier had paid an official visit to attend a programme at Santiniketan.

The two leaders are known to share a very cordial relation. PTI PNT NN KK NN NN