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Swaraj leaves for home after Bangladesh visit

Dhaka: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj today met former Bangladesh President Hussain Ershad's wife and opposition Jatiya Party leader Roshan Ershad before leaving for Delhi at the end of her three-day visit here.  The meeting
PTI June 27, 2014 14:33 IST
PTI
Dhaka: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj today met former Bangladesh President Hussain Ershad's wife and opposition Jatiya Party leader Roshan Ershad before leaving for Delhi at the end of her three-day visit here.  

The meeting lasted for nearly 45 minutes and included a restricted session between the two leaders.  Swaraj held talks with Ershad who received her at the historic Parliament building.

The Jatiyo Sangsad Bhaban's (parliament building) construction was started in 1961 by then Pakistan President Ayub Khan, as a permanent building for the federal legislature of both West Pakistan and erstwhile East Pakistan which later became Bangladesh.

But it was only completed after Bangladesh's 1971 war of independence in January, 1982.

Swaraj, who chose Bangladesh for her first stand-alone visit since assuming office a month ago, met Bangladesh's opposition leaders during her visit in recognition of the important and constructive role the opposition plays in a democracy.

Earlier today, she also met former Bangladesh Prime Minister and chairperson of the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), Khaleda Zia.  

Swaraj held a series of meetings with the top leadership here yesterday including Bangladesh's President Abdul Hamid, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, and held delegation-level talks with her Bangladeshi counterpart A H Mahmud Ali.  

During her meetings, Swaraj gave a commitment to address Bangladesh's concerns over sharing of Teesta waters and implementation of the Land Boundary Agreement (LBA) “in a manner that improves the welfare and well-being of both our people”.

Bangladesh held its general elections in January this year, in which Hasina's Awami League emerged victorious after Zia's BNP-led opposition boycotted the polls.  

The BNP had demanded postponement of the polls and setting up of a non-party caretaker government, but Hasina rejected the demands.