Such mistakes do happen: Bdesh on PMs controversial remarks

Dhaka: Bangladesh on Thursday sought to put a lid on the controversy sparked by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh`s recent remarks about the country, saying "there is no misunderstanding now and such mistakes do happen."

"Such type of mistakes do happen. There is no scope for any misunderstanding now. We are looking forward to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh`s visit to Bangladesh," Foreign Minister Dipu Moni told a group of Indian journalists here.

Her comments came when she was asked about Singh`s controversial "off-the-record" remarks that 25 per cent people of Bangladesh were anti-India. Singh`s remarks, made during an interaction with editors in Delhi last week, were put on the official transcript but were later deleted.

In this context, Moni recalled that Bangladesh Foreign Ministry had also committed a similar mistake by putting something on its official website and edited it out after two-three days.

Singh`s remarks had drawn sharp reactions from political parties in Bangladesh.

India had then swung into a damage-control mode announcing the date of Singh`s September 6-7 visit to Bangladesh. The Prime Minister also telephoned his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina, telling her that India accorded the highest importance to relations with this country.

Earlier, visiting External Affairs Minister S M Krishna, responding to a question on Singh`s remarks during a joint press interaction with Moni, said a clarification was issued by the Indian government and the Prime Minister had conveyed his "tremendous affection and admiration for the people of Bangladesh."

Krishna said that during his 20-minute talks with Hasina, he conveyed to her Singh`s commitment to forge strong partnership with Bangladesh and she said the people of Bangladesh are looking forward to the Indian Prime Minister`s visit.