The Hindu : News / National : Mathai meets Mamata, discusses ties with neighbours
It was a fruitful meeting, says Foreign Secretary
Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai on Saturday met Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee here and discussed various issues relating to India's relations with neighbouring countries in the region.
The 30-minute meeting was considered significant in view of the Teesta waters sharing treaty between India and Bangladesh having been called of at the last moment in September 2011 following Ms. Banerjee's reservations against it on the grounds that the pact would be detrimental to the interests of north Bengal.
He said it was a courtesy call as he had come to the city to participate in a conference of the BCIM (Bangladesh, China, India and Myanmar) forum to address matters related to better linkages between the four countries.
When journalists asked whether the sharing of the Teesta waters had cropped up during the talks, Mr. Mathai said: “We discussed all issues relating to some of our neighbouring countries and the discussion was useful and fruitful.”
“It was a routine meeting,” Ms. Banerjee told journalists.
Recently Ms. Banerjee had written a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressing her disappointment over large quantum of water from the Farakka Barrage flowing into Bangladesh because of two damaged sluice gates. The Chief Minister had sought his intervention in the matter.
I would like to hope that Mamta Di has been told how her petty politics should not come in the way of Indian interests in BD. We have already squandered a golden opportunity to reset and improve ties with BD. And Mamta Banerjee is a crucial part of that improvement. We already had a close call with recent coup in BD that Indian intelligence was able to help BD avert. But unless some concrete deals are implemented and people in BD seen results of these improvements, we will see a negative backlash against India.