Manmohan Singh’s Sri Lanka Dilemma – NYTimes.com

Domestic politics shaping foreign policy? That would never happen in the US, right? At a meetinf of the Commonwealth of Nations, an intergovernmental organization with 53 member states, things get political:

However, Indian diplomats argue that the Bangladesh debacle in September 2011 should serve as a reminder to the Ministry of External Affairs to never let foreign policy be subservient to domestic politics. At that time, India caved into pressure by Mamata Banerjee, the West Bengal chief minister and Trinamool Congress leader, not to sign the Teesta waters agreement with Dhaka.

Diplomats argue that Mr. Singh severely lost face in front of Bangladesh’s prime minister, Sheikh Hasina. Ms. Hasina had expended considerable political capital in persuading her own government that in return for sharing the Teesta waters as well as the Indian ratification of an updated Land Boundary Agreement with India, Bangladesh would provide transit rights to Indian goods and people for access to India’s northeastern states as well as access to the geostrategically located Chittagong port in the Bay of Bengal.

via Manmohan Singh’s Sri Lanka Dilemma – NYTimes.com.

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