In a special gesture, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday drove to the IGI airport in New Delhi to receive his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina and expressed confidence that bilateral ties will be taken to a new level. 

Modi set aside protocol to go to the airport, travelling through the normal traffic without any route restrictions, official sources said. 

He later tweeted: 

Hasina arrived on a four-day visit, which comes after a gap of seven years. She will hold wide-ranging talks with Modi on Saturday during which India is also set to announce a line of credit of USD 500 million to Bangladesh for military supplies.

During Hasina’s visit, which is her first after Modi assumed office in 2014, the two sides will be signing at least 25 pacts in various key sectors including civil nuclear cooperation and defence but any agreement on the Teesta water sharing is unlikely to be inked. 

Officials in New Delhi have said, “It will be a visit without water, indicating that a pact on Teesta river waters is not on the cards. The central government will not go ahead with the agreement on Teesta without taking West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on board and she has been opposing it stridently citing water crisis in the state.” 

However, the two sides are looking at the inking of a framework agreement on civil nuclear energy which will provide for extensive cooperation in the sector including setting up of nuclear reactors in Bangladesh by India.

(Feature image source: Twitter/@narendramodi)