Dhaka, Feb 6 (UNB) - Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen, now in New Delhi, will meet Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday morning ahead of the 5th Joint Consultative Commission (JCC) meeting scheduled for Friday.
Dr Momen, who reached India on Wednesday night, will reiterate Bangladesh's position to work closely with the important neighbour on all fronts for betterment of the two countries, people and beyond during his meeting with Modi, says a diplomatic source.
He is likely to seek India's stronger support to resolve the Rohingya crisis.
Foreign Minister Dr Momen and Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will lead Bangladesh and Indian delegations respectively at the 5th JCC meeting on Friday.
Bangladesh and India have planned to sign five MoUs during the next round of foreign minister-level bilateral talks on Friday, aiming to take the relations between the two countries to newer heights, an official told UNB.
The documents that are likely to be signed are MoU between the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of Bangladesh and the National Medical Plants Board, India on cooperation in the field of medicinal plants, MoU between National Centre for Good Governance, Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances, Government of India and Ministry of Public Administration, Bangladesh on tanning and capacity building programme for Bangladesh Civil Servants and MoU between Hiranandani Group and Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA) for developing Indian Economic Zone in Mongla, Bangladesh.
Two more MoUs between Bangladesh’s Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) and India’s Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and state-run Bangladesh Television (BTV) and Prasar Bharti of India are also planned to be signed.
The 5th JCC meeting will review the progress made in areas such as trade and investment, security, connectivity, border management, power, energy, shipping, people-to-people exchanges, apart from Rohingya issue, said a diplomatic source.
The two countries will also discuss the common challenges and find ways on how the two friendly countries along with other like-minded nations can continue fighting the scourge of terrorism, extremism and radicalisation, the source indicates.
Foreign Minister Dr Momen will leave New Delhi for Dhaka on Saturday morning after wrapping up his first foreign tour as Foreign Minister.
Earlier, acting High Commissioner of India to Bangladesh Dr Adarsh Swaika met the new Foreign Minister of Bangladesh and handed over the letter of congratulations from the External Affairs Minister of India Sushma Swaraj.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the first among the global leaders to congratulate Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina after her party Awami League’s absolute victory in the December-30 elections.
Prime Minister Modi expressed confidence that the partnership between Bangladesh and India will continue to flourish under her “farsighted” leadership.
He also reiterated the priority India attaches to Bangladesh as a neighbour, a close partner for regional development, security and cooperation, and a central pillar in India’s ‘’Neighbourhood First” policy.
The 4th Joint Consultative Commission between Bangladesh and India, led by former Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali and Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj respectively, was held in October 2017.
Dhaka, Feb 6 (UNB) - Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Wednesday urged UNHCR special envoy and superstar Angelina Jolie to organise a mega event in Hollywood engaging her other colleagues in an effort to mobilise public opinion worldwide highlighting the plights and rights of Rohingya people.
"I proposed her to organise a mega event in Hollywood to create public opinion for Rohingyas as she is a big voice," he told reporters after his meeting with Jolie at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Foreign Minister referred her to the "Concert for Bangladesh of George Harrison" held in New York in 1971 that had created huge public opinion in favour of Bangladesh War of Liberation.
Bangladesh is now hosting nearly 1.3 million Rohingyas. The majority of Rohingyas -- more than 620,000 people -- live in just one area: Kutupalong, the largest refugee settlement anywhere in the world today.
The Hollywood megastar arrived here on Monday morning and visited Rohingya camps to assess their needs.
The Foreign Minister said Jolie wants the safe return of Rohingyas to their place of origin in Rakhine State.
Famous Hollywood actress Jolie on Tuesday urged the Myanmar authorities to show the genuine commitment to end the cycle of violence, displacement, and improve the conditions for all communities in Rakhine State, including Rohingyas.
“While UNHCR is ready to support efforts to improve conditions, there has been very little progress on the ground. The Rohingya cannot return to Myanmar at this time,” she said at a media briefing at Kutupalong Rohingya camp.
Until Rohingyas can return, Jolie said, they have a collective responsibility to ensure that they can live a dignified life here in Bangladesh.
Jolie said Bangladesh is a generous country rich in culture and history, but with limited resources, and it cannot be left to shoulder the responsibility of hosting Rohingyas alone.
“So, I urge the international community to continue to provide the humanitarian aid necessary to meet the needs of the refugees and support the communities so generously hosting them,” she said.
The special envoy was scheduled to conclude her Bangladesh visit after holding official meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday evening.
During the meetings so far, she discussed how UNHCR can best support the current response led by the Bangladesh government, along with the need for safe and sustainable solutions to the plight of one of the world's most persecuted minorities.
Her visit came just before the launch of a new appeal for the humanitarian situation in Bangladesh -- the 2019 Joint Response Plan -- which seeks to raise some $920 million to continue meeting the basic needs of Rohingyas and the communities hosting them.
Bangladesh has been heavily affected by the influx of more than 730,000 Rohingyas from Myanmar since August 2017 and now hosts nearly a million refugees, said the UN refugee agency.
Dhaka, Feb 6 (UNB) - Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Wednesday said Bangladesh-Myanmar border has almost been sealed off to stop further influx from Myanmar amid violence there.
"We had kept our border open for adequate people. We won't take anymore (new). We’ve almost sealed off the border," he said adding that it is better to see that others (countries except Bangladesh) keep open borders.
The Foreign Minister said they have heard that ethnic and religious groups, including Buddhists and Hindus, are trying to enter Bangladesh for safety amid fresh violence in Myanmar.
He was talking to reporters after his meeting with UNHCR special envoy Angelina Jolie and Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General on Myanmar Christine Schraner Burgener.
Terming Jolie a big voice, the Foreign Minister said he conveyed her that Bangladesh wants all the Rohingyas to go back to their place of origin in Rakhine State safely.
"All of them should go back, as soon as possible," said the Foreign Minister.
He also said Myanmar should agree on a safe zone under the supervision of Asean in Rakhine for Rohingyas.
Dhaka, Feb 6 (UNB) - Poland’s first Deputy Minister of Energy Grzegorz Tobiszowski on Wednesday said the Polish government is ready to invest US$ 1 billion in Bangladesh, mainly in mining sectors including coal mining.
The Polish Deputy Minister of Energy met Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen at the latter’s office and discussed the matter.
Apart from bilateral issues, views on regional and international issues of mutual concern were exchanged during the meeting.
Both sides agreed to maintain cooperation in different multilateral platforms.
The Polish Deputy Minister of Energy noted the existing friendly relations between the two countries and stressed enhancing cooperation, particularly in the sectors like science and technology, industry, trade and commerce.
He said the Polish side is interested to sign MoU/agreement on cooperation in those fields to strengthen the existing bilateral relations.
Recalling the support of Poland in Liberation War in 1971, Foreign Minister Dr Momen expressed gratitude to the Polish people and stressed further enhancing the existing bilateral relations between the two time-tested friendly countries in the days ahead.
He thanked the Polish government for extending support for the Rohingya crisis and urged the Polish government to continue its support for ensuring safe and dignified return of Rohingya from Bangladesh to Myanmar, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here.
On trade issues, he mentioned the Polish government may import pharmaceuticals from Bangladesh on large scale considering the quality and price in addition to RMG.
The Deputy Minister assured Dr Momen of conveying this message to the appropriate authorities in Poland.
Mentioning the investment-friendly environment of Bangladesh, Dr Momen invited the Polish investment in Bangladesh in the sector like- energy, leather and footwear, agro-processing, food processing and packaging.
He also urged the Polish government to recruit Bangladeshi semi-skilled and skilled workers and professionals in the sectors like healthcare, construction, agriculture, industries and tourism to fulfill labour shortage in Poland.
He also asked to consider easing visa issuance process for Bangladeshi businessmen, visitors and students.
Putting emphasis on the cooperation in Blue Economy, the Foreign Minister suggested that the two countries may explore the possible areas of cooperation in the promising blue economy sector.
Dhaka, Feb 6 (UNB) - Nigerian Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onayeama has congratulated Dr AK Abdul Momen on his appointment as the Foreign Minister of Bangladesh.
In his message, Geoffrey Onayeama expressed his confidence to work assiduously with Dr Momen for deepening bilateral relations at all fronts with a view to taking to greater heights for the benefits of the good peoples of both countries, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here on Wednesday.