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    Bangladesh leader, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, met the Indian Prime minister, Mrs. Indira Gandhi in New?

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    Bangladesh leader, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, met the Indian Prime minister, Mrs. Indira Gandhi in New Delhi on Sunday (12 May) to review bilateral ties at the start of a five-day official visit.

    Sheikh Mujib was greeted by Mrs. Gandhi on his arrival and inspected a guard of honour before going to the high-domed official residence of the Indian President Mr. V.V. Giri for talks with Mrs. Gandhi.

    The 70-minute meeting -- without aides -- set the course for four days of earnest discussions on specific issues affecting bilateral relations between their countries.

    The two leaders declined to comment on the first meeting, but Indian Foreign Minister Swaran Singh and Banglandesh Foreign Minister Mr. Kamal Hossain, said there had been a friendly exchange of views.

    The two Foreign Minsters later joined Mrs. Gandhi and Sheikh Mujib at the talks, along with the Commerce and Irrigation Ministers of both countries.

    Altogether more than 10 hours of talks were scheduled between Mrs. Gandhi and the Banglandesh Prime Minister.

    The presence of the Commerce and Irrigation Ministers was taken as an indication that discussions would be dominated by trade relations and sharing the waters of the Ganges River.

    The two governments were reported to be concerned that bilateral trade has been very poor, despite their close ties and treaty of peace, friendship and cooperation.

    Widespread smuggling across the borders of the two countries was also expected to be discussed, as was India's building of the Farakka barrage across the Ganges River in West Bengal. Banglandesh has argued that the barrage -- now almost completed -- will obstruct the flow of water into its territory.

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    Reuters - Including Visnews
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    Available on request
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