Dhaka, May 16 (UNB) – Bangladesh has urged Finland and the European Union (EU) to mount pressure on Myanmar to compel them to take back its nationals from Bangladesh in a sustainable manner.
Bangladesh also sought their role to hold Myanmar armed forces accountable for ethnic cleansing in Rakhine state.
The issue came up for discussion at the third round of Bangladesh-Finland political consultations held at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Helsinki on Wednesday.
Kamrul Ahsan, Secretary-Bilateral (Europe, Africa, Americas; & Consular) led the Bangladesh delegation, while the Finnish delegation was headed by Sipilaionen Anne Marjaana, Under Secretary of State for Foreign and Security Policy, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.
Bangladesh Ambassador to Finland (with residence in Stockholm) Md Nazmul Islam and Director General (West Europe and the EU) of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dhaka Mohammad Khorshed A Khastagir were also present.
The Bangladesh side briefed the Finnish side on the Rohingya crisis while referring to regional and international issues, said a press release on Thursday.
The Finnish side appreciated Bangladesh for hosting a large number of Rohingyas.
Both sides reviewed different aspects of the bilateral relationship highlighting the importance of expanding and strengthening cooperation and initiatives in all areas of mutual interest, particularly trade, economic, investment, education, infrastructure development, energy, ICT sectors etc.
In the course of the consultations, the two sides also exchanged views on a wide range of multilateral, regional and global topics of mutual interest.
Expressing their satisfactions over the excellent bilateral relations, both delegations emphasised the importance of jointly celebrating the 50th anniversary of bilateral relations between the two countries in 2021.
The Finnish side informed that a two-day seminar on "Doing Business with Finland" would be organised in Bangladesh in November 2019 to promote more business between the two countries.
Both sides also emphasised on promoting cooperation in education sector, including creating more opportunities for Bangladeshi students and professionals for higher education, research and vocational education (skills development) by building partnerships among the educational institutions of the two countries.
Bangladeshi side also raised the issue of difficulty faced by Bangladeshi people, especially students, in procuring visas from New Delhi. The Finnish side assured to take practical steps to ensure ease of getting visas.
Two sides also agreed to work on building partnership in implementing the SDGs, Agenda 2030, mitigating the adverse effect of climate change, gender equality, peacekeeping and peace building.
In addition to Political Consultations, the programme of the visit also included meeting with Matti Anttonen, Permanent State Secretary of Finland and visit to the University of Aalto to interact with Startup ecosystem and design, innovation activities and discussed possibilities of collaboration with Bangladeshi counterparts.