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Former Bangladesh PM Khaleda Zia arrives in the capital, meets Sushma Swaraj

Press Trust of India
Oct 29, 2012 at 12:23pm IST

New Delhi: Former Prime Minister of Bangladesh Begum Khaleda Zia arrived in New Delhi on Sunday on a week-long visit and called on Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj. Zia, who is Leader of Opposition in Bangladesh, met Swaraj at her residence in New Delhi. The two leaders are learnt to have discussed bilateral issues. She will meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi on Monday.

India is playing host to Zia as part of its ongoing engagement with a democratic and multi-party polity in Bangladesh. She will be in India till November 3. Visiting India at the invitation of the external affairs minister, Zia, who is chairperson of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), is also scheduled to call on the President.

Zia's visit comes in the backdrop of India and Bangladesh failing to ink the crucial Teesta water sharing pact despite the broad agreement between the two sides, mainly because of the opposition by West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee. There were efforts to sign the agreement during the PM's visit to Dhaka last year.

Khaleda Zia arrives in the capital, meets Sushma

India is playing host to Zia as part of its ongoing engagement with a democratic and multi-party polity in Bangladesh.

With its decision to invite Zia, India is trying to dispel the impression that its diplomatic engagement and comfort level was limited to the Sheikh Hasina-led government in Bangladesh, which is going for general elections in 2014.

Zia would also meet the external affairs minister, national security adviser and foreign secretary. She is also expected to visit Ajmer Sharif. Zia's last official visit to India was in 2006 as the then Prime Minister of Bangladesh.

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