Wednesday, Jul 16, 2003
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By Haroon Habib
Begum Zia made the observation when the visiting External Affairs Minister, Yashwant Sinha, met her today. Mr. Sinha said New Delhi would also like an equitable trade relation with Dhaka. During the meeting, the Foreign Ministers of Bangladesh and India also briefed Begum Zia about the outcome of the Dhaka-Delhi Joint Economic Commission (JEC) meeting held here today.
Both Morshed Khan and Mr. Sinha remarked that the meeting made `good progress unlocking doors to different new areas of cooperation', including science and technology, IT, agriculture and natural disasters. They told the Prime Minister that the JEC meeting discussed various issues, particularly measures to increase trade and strengthen economic relations as well as the Dhaka-Agartala bus service. Both of them also hoped that relations between the two countries would be strengthened in the coming days.
Begum Zia said she welcomed the decision for holding the SAARC summit on January 4 next year and was ready to participate in it. She also told Mr. Sinha that the report of the SAARC Poverty Alleviation Commission was ready. She stressed the need for increasing trade relations among the SAARC member countries. Mr. Sinha also conveyed to Begum Zia the greetings from Mr. Vajpayee. During the meeting, the External Affairs Secretary, Kanwal Sibal, and the High Commissioner in Dhaka, M.L. Tripathy, were present from the Indian side while Begum Zia's Principal Secretary, Kamal Siddiqui, and the Bangladesh Foreign Secretary, Shamsher Mobin Chowdhury, were present.
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