India could soon get access to its seven landlocked north-eastern states through Bangladesh. ''Unfettered movement of people and goods will be taking place,'' Bangladesh foreign minister Dipu Moni said at a press conference in Dhaka on Sunday, a day after the visit of Indian finance minister Pranab Mukherjee.
An exchange of letters by this year-end among four South Asian nations - India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan - will formalise arrangements that will allow transit into each others' territories, she said.
As part of this broad arrangement, aimed at regional economic integration, India will get access to its north-eastern region through Bangladeshi territory. She added that no change in any agreements or protocol is required and a simple exchange of letters would suffice.
"We are thinking about transforming Bangladesh into a regional hub, and when the entire region will be brought under connectivity, India will have access to its northeastern states," Moni said.
The issue of transit has been "a bone of contention for long" between Bangladesh and India, a local newspaper said on Monday.
During Mukherjee's visit, Bangladesh and India signed an agreement for $1 billion credit line, the highest that Bangladesh has received from anywhere and also the highest India has committed at a single go to any country.