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Khaleda warms up to New Delhi

Wednesday, 24 October 2012 - 8:00am IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: DNA
Former Bangladesh prime minister and the leader of opposition, Begum Khaleda Zia, who just completed her week-long visit to China, is expected to visit India later this month.

Former Bangladesh prime minister and the leader of opposition, Begum Khaleda Zia, who just completed her week-long visit to China, is expected to visit India later this month.

The visit comes with just over a year left for general elections in Bangladesh, and a sharp decline in the popularity ratings of the ruling Awami league led by prime minister Sheikh Hasina.

There is no official word yet on the proposed visit but there are reports indicating that Begum Zia will be in India for a week-long visit later this month.

The ministry of external affairs on Tuesday said they “have not officially heard anything on the visit,” but confirmed that the “Indian high commissioner to Dhaka would be meeting Begum Zia on Tuesday.”

According to reports Begum Zia would be meeting president Pranab Mukherjee on October 28.  She is also expected to meet prime minister Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi and host of other Indian leaders.

Begum Khaleda Zia heads the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, which is traditionally seen as anti-India. Ahead of the elections, she has embarked on a diplomatic exercise to strengthen relations with Bangladesh’s neighbours.

She would seek to convince the Indian leadership of her earnestness in building relations with India, shedding her party’s anti-India image, and tackling insurgency groups operating from Bangladesh.

The Teesta water sharing agreement and the Land Boundary Agreement, which are on hold because of political constraints in India, are expected to take a major share of discussions.

Teesta that has been single handedly scuttled by Trinamool chief Mamta Banerjee, and the Land Boundary Agreement, which is yet to be ratified by the India parliament are major issues in Bangladesh.
 




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