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Bangladesh PM coming to India from Mar 20-22

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Mar 17 (UNI) India and Bangladesh will discuss the ''entire spectrum'' of bilateral relations, including security-related issues, during the three-day State visit of Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia here from March 20.

Bangladesh Foreign Secretary Hemayat-ud-Din, who met his Indian counterpart Shyam Saran here this morning to prepare ground for the visit, told reporters here today that Begum Zia would be coming to India with a ''very positive frame of mind.'' ''The whole range of bilateral issues that exist and how to carry them forward, will be discussed...We do hope something positive will come out. There is no reason to be pessimistic. It will be a landmark visit in terms of bilateral relations.'' During the March 20-22 visit, the Bangladesh Prime Minister would meet President A P J Abdul Kalam, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Vice President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat besides having talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

She will be acompanied by her Foreign Minister and Finance Minister besides other seenior officials of her government.

Asked whether any agreement would be signed during the visit, Mr Hemayat-ud-Din said ''we have some agreements in mind. But these are still to be finalised.'' He, however, declined to elaborate saying he did not want to go into details at this point of time.

About the agenda of discussion between the two countries, he said the whole range of bilateral relations could be covered. But easier access to Indian markets, trade and other issuess could figure.

''Both India and Bangladesh are among the largest democracies in the world. Both are functioning democracies. We have many things in common and challenegs are also there.'' Seeking to make it clear that there was ''ill feeling'' in Bangladesh about India, Mr Hemayat-ud-Din said no government in Bangladesh could have a policy which is anti-India. ''We should have had more contact earlier.'' MORE UNI RB VD DB2002

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