Sushma Swaraj: Narendra Modi government has one more year to resolve Teesta

May 29, 2018, 08:24 IST | IANS

Teesta resolution can't happen only between the two countries -- Bangladesh government and Indian government

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj speaks during the ministry's Annual Press Conference on completion of 4 years of the NDA government, in New Delhi on Monday, May 28, 2018. Pic/PTI
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj speaks during the ministry's Annual Press Conference on completion of 4 years of the NDA government, in New Delhi on Monday, May 28, 2018. Pic/PTI

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Monday said West Bengal is an important stakeholder in resolution of the Teesta water sharing issue between India and Bangladesh and that the Narendra Modi government has one more year left to fulfil the promise.

"Teesta resolution can't happen only between the two countries -- Bangladesh government and Indian government. A big stakeholder in this is West Bengal government," Swaraj said in reply to a query on Teesta at her annual conference here.

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was recently in West Bengal and had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee separately. Hasina has been stressing on the need to have water from Teesta, which flows through north Bengal, as large areas of Bangladesh were being affected. Swaraj said as per Mamata Banerjee's suggestion, a team of water resources officials from both Centre and West Bengal were investigating the feasibility of three other rivers that could give as much water to Bangladesh as expected from Teesta.

"The feasibility report is yet to come out. As for Teesta resolution, we have one more year left. We are working on it, but one should understand that there is a third stakeholder. Without taking them on board even if you take a decision how will you implement? Water has to flow from West Bengal. It is our policy to take all stakeholders on board to make implementation easy," she said.

On the issue of Rohingya migrants, the Minister said Bangladesh never alleged that India had sided with Myanmar. "I am happy to hear that there has been an understanding between Bangladesh and Myanmar. As per the understanding, the repatriation would be complete within two years. They have progressed on the understanding and Myanmar has given a list of 1,222 verified individuals to be sent back. This is the first successful step and we believe honest efforts from both sides would bring a solution to Rohingya crisis," Swaraj said.

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