'Bangladesh ready to work with Modi'

TOKYO - Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said that she is ready to work with her new Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, despite his hardline image, as she had dealt with four different governments in New Delhi.

"This is the fifth one," she said, adding that was keen to maintain a working relationship with her powerful and populous neighbour. "He has his own ideas. Now he has become the prime minister of India, I hope he would also act as the prime minister of India," she told a press conference in Tokyo, on the fourth-day of her visit to Japan.

Hasina said that Muslim-majority Bangladesh had good relations with India where differences have been resolved through discussions, such as concluding a treaty on water resources. "What I believe is that through bilateral discussions, if there is any problem, we can solve it," she said. She stressed the region shares a common enemy in poverty, which it needs to fight through economic development.

"Bangladesh´s foreign policy is very clear. Friendship to all, and malice to none," she said. Hasina also suggested that Bangladesh was ready to withdraw its rival candidacy against Japan for a non-permanent member seat on the UN Security Council, if Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe were to visit her nation. Abe, who met with Hasina on Monday, gave $5.9 billion economic aid.

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