Indian PM Modi visits Bangladesh for land swap agreement

Decades old land and border dispute expected to be resolved with border agreement

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived at Dhaka, Bangladesh on Saturday for a two-day official visit. He was given a red carpet welcome from his counterpart, Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, at the airport.

This trip is Modi’s first visit to Bangladesh after he was elected a year ago. "This visit is going to strengthen the bond between our nations, benefitting people of our countries and our region," said Modi on his Twitter account, prior to his visit.

Despite the busy schedule, Modi has not left sightseeing out of his plans. Photos of him paying his respects in Hindu religious sites and at Bangladesh's Independence Memorial have already been posted on official twitter accounts.

India and Bangladesh have been engaged in a decades-long land dispute. There are tens of enclaves of each country inside the other’s territory, many of which are landlocked. More than 50.000 people reside in these enclaves and are legally stateless and deprived of citizenship.

Last month the Indian parliament passed amendments to the constitution in order to resolve the issue. During the two-day visit, leaders will sign a Border Agreement permanently ending the dispute through swapping territory. The inhabitants of the enclaves will be given the right to choose between becoming citizens of either of the two countries.

Apart from the border agreement both countries are aiming to strengthen ties and cooperation and carry out discussions regarding bilateral agreements on trade and transportation.

Before this trip, Indian PM Modi had visited 18 countries, including industrial giants in Asia such as South Korea, Japan and China. During all of these visits the Indian PM signed significant trade and cooperation agreements.

TRTWorld and agencies