Dhaka, May 23 (UNB) - Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Thursday said Bangladesh will welcome the new Indian government, no matter whoever comes to power, as Bangladesh maintains good relations with all Indian political parties.
“Whoever comes to power, we’ll welcome them,” he told reporters at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs when media reports suggest that Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) stunned its opposition with a massive election win.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the first foreign leader who congratulated Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina soon after the re-election of her ruling Awami League in Bangladesh’s last general election.
“We’ve very good relations with the BJP,” said the Foreign Minister.
“So, if he (Modi) comes (to power), we’ll welcome him in the same manner,” he said adding that Bangladesh will be happy to see stability in the neighbouring countries.
The Foreign Minister said Bangladesh is on a development trajectory and moving towards higher development and laid emphasis on stability in the region. “At this stage, we want a stable government in every neighbouring country of South Asia.”
He said elections in India, the largest democratic country in the world, are held in a transparent democratic environment.
Asked about the pending Teesta River water-sharing issue, Dr Momen said the two countries can achieve everything if there is friendship.
Dhaka, May 23 (UNB) - A new rail link connecting the port city of Chattogram and the country’s tourism hub Cox’s Bazar is expected to open in 2023 aiming to help promote trade, investment and tourism in Bangladesh in a greater way by transporting 2.9 million passengers annually by 2024, officials say.
Bangladesh signed a deal with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Thursday for a $400 million loan to help build the dual-gauge railway connecting Chattogram and Cox’s Bazar.
Secretary, Economic Relations Division (ERD) Monowar Ahmed and Country Director, ADB Manmohan Parkash signed the agreement on behalf of Bangladesh and ADB respectively, at a ceremony in the capital.
The railway corridor is part of the Trans-Asian Railway network that will facilitate access for the Cox’s Bazar region’s population and products to sub-regional markets and trade.
The Trans-Asia Railway network, an initiative led by the United Nations, aims to provide seamless rail links between Asia and Europe to better connect people and markets.
The assistance forms the second part of $1.5 billion ADB loans for the South Asia Sub-regional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Chattogram-Cox’s Bazar Railway Project.
The loan will finance around 27 percent of the progress towards constructing 102 kilometers of new railway line between Chattogram and Cox's Bazar, according to the ADB.
“ADB is committed to helping Bangladesh develop its railways, which is a safe, affordable and environment-friendly mode of transport,” said Parkash.
He said the project is a priority investment under Bangladesh’s Seventh Five Year Plan and will open up the unserved areas of Cox’s Bazar region by promoting investment, trade and tourism.
Parkash said the project also integrates features that are friendly to the elderly, women, children, and people with disabilities.
He said the project will connect Cox’s Bazar for the first time to the national and sub-regional railway network.
The construction of this railway section is one of several ADB railway projects to help Bangladesh meet its targets under its Seventh Five-Year Plan and Railway Master Plan.
Dhaka, May 22 (UNB) – The United Nations (UN) in Bangladesh, in celebration of the International Women’s Day 2019, organised a mobile photography contest that ended here on Wednesday with a panel discussion followed by the awards ceremony.
Deputy Minister for Education Barrister Mohibul Hassan Chowdhury (Nowfel), as the chief guest, and UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh Mia Seppo, as a special guest, shared their views on innovation for equality and change.
Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Dhaka Prof Dr Sadeka Halim focused on gender and research issues.
Daily Prothom Alo staff photographer Sabina Yesmin and General Secretary, Diplomatic Correspondents Association of Bangladesh (DCAB) Nurul Islam Hasib focused on the challenges and opportunities of women in media sectors, said a press release.
National Programme Analyst, the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) Bangladesh Md Aktar Uddin moderated the event organised by UN in Bangladesh with the partnership of UN Women, UNFPA, UNV and United Nations Information Centre (UNIC), Dhaka.
The photo contest winners were awarded with prizes and certificates.
Dhaka, May 22 (UNB) – Canadian Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development Kamal Khera on Wednesday said Canada will continue to engage with the government of Myanmar and the international community to ensure accountability in Myanmar, noting that it remains top priority for her country.
“I think we’ve made tremendous progress,” she told reporters after her meeting with State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam at his office at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Khera said Canada is also committed to help Bangladesh find sustainable ways to cope with the Rohingya issue.
Bangladesh is now hosting over 1.2 million Rohingyas in Cox’s Bazar district.
Khera said the people of Bangladesh and Rohingyas deserve a comprehensive and sustained response and Canada stands in solidarity with Bangladesh.
Shahriar said they discussed the Rohingya issue in detail apart from touching upon bilateral issues.
He said they laid emphasis on trade facilitation as Bangladesh is moving towards trade from aid.
The Canadian Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development said she witnessed the generosity and compassion of the people of Bangladesh and expressed heartfelt thanks to the people and government of Bangladesh for responding to the devastating humanitarian crisis with courage and grace.
She said Bangladesh has a very big heart which has already been proven and Bangladesh continues to prove that to be true.
Earlier, Khera announced around $100 million in humanitarian and development initiatives to help those seriously affected by the Rohingya crisis in Bangladesh.
This includes $32.15 million in humanitarian assistance to mitigate the impact of the monsoon and cyclone seasons, improve the living conditions in Rohingya camps, support sexual and gender-based violence prevention and response initiatives, and increase access to health facilities and sexual and reproductive health services.
It also includes $67.7 million in development assistance to expand health and basic education services, address gender-based violence, and provide skills training and resources to increase women’s opportunities for income generation.
Dhaka, May 22 (UNB) – Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) wants to conduct a survey over higher education in Bangladesh as the agency is interested to promote higher education and research here.
A three-member JICA delegation said this at a meeting with University Grants Commission (UGC) acting chairman Prof Dr Mohammad Yousuf Ali Mollah at the latter’s office here.
During the meeting, the team, led by Koji Motomori, senior representative (Urban Development) of JICA Bangladesh, also sought cooperation from the UGC in arranging a consultative workshop over higher education in Bangladesh in June next.
Prof Yousuf Ali Mollah said the UGC always welcomes JICA’s assistance and cooperation for the promotion and internationalisation of higher education in Bangladesh.