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Sushma Swaraj concludes B’desh visit, offers prayers for better ties

Dhaka, June 27 India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj concluded her three-day-vist to Bagladesh Friday after offering prayers at the historic Dhakeshwari Mandir here for better ties between the two countries.

“I came to Bangladesh with an open mind. Good relations exist between India and Bangladesh and the relationship will get better. I am trying to resolve all the issues coming in the way of our ties,” Prothom Alo newspaper quoted Sushma Swaraj as saying while interacting with devotees at the temple.

Dhakeshwari is considered the presiding deity of this capital city of Bangladesh.

Following her visit to the temple, Sushma Swaraj met the two advisors to the prime minister, Gowher Rizvi and Masihur Rehman.

She also met Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) chairperson Khaleda Zia at Dhaka’s Hotel Sonargaon, reported.

During the 40-minute meeting, Zia reportedly “complained” about the state of democracy in Bangladesh.

Swaraj told Khaleda that the new Indian government wanted to emphasise on a relationship without favouring any particular political party or a government in Bangladesh.

BNP’s standing committee member Abdul Moyeen Khan and vice-chairman Shamsher Mobin Chowdhury termed the meeting “successful”.

“The issue of lack of democracy in the country came up in the meeting. This so-called parliament does not reflect the people’s will,” Moyeen Khan said.

Susham Swaraj also met Leader of the Opposition Raushan Ershad.

“The external affairs minister is shortly departing from Dhaka after what we feel has been a fruitful and successful visit,” Indian external affairs ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said. quoted Akbaruddin as saying during a pre-departure interaction with journalists that the Indian government would work with the Bangladesh government, leaving the country’s internal issues to its people to resolve.

“Governments work with governments. The Indian government will work with the government of Bangladesh. All other issues internal to Bangladesh will need to be addressed and resolved by the people of Bangladesh.”

During her 38-hour-long visit, Sushma Swaraj sent out a strong message that her government would build upon the momentum of the relations between the two countries.

She left for New Delhi on a special Air India flight around 1.30 p.m. from Dhaka’s Shahjalal International Airport after being seen off by Bangladesh Foreign Secretary Md. Shahidul Haque.

She was accompanied by Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh.

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