Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen
Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen today (November 23, 2023) said he is not carrying any special message from Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina or there is "no hidden agenda" as he leaves for New Delhi tomorrow to hold talks with his Indian counterpart, scheduled for Friday. He, however, said the Bangladesh side will definitely inform the Indian side if they have queries regarding the next national election. Talking to reporters at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Masud said the relationship between Bangladesh and India is multifaceted. Read: AL’s main task is to prevent propaganda, sabotage ahead of polls: Obaidul Quader Efforts to keep the relationship unhindered and smooth before, during and after the election may come up for discussions, he said. The foreign secretary said he will brief diplomats from countries that do not have missions in Dhaka about the situation in Bangladesh and the government’s efforts to hold a free and fair election. Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen on Monday said no political issues will be discussed in the foreign secretary-level talks between the two countries. Read: Way towards green, sustainable businesses in Asia and the Pacific pointed at UN forum in Hong Kong "I don't think so. Political discussion has already been done. There will be no discussion about politics there," Momen told reporters at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs when a reporter wanted to know whether politics and the upcoming election will be discussed in the forthcoming meeting. The foreign minister said it is a routine meeting between the two countries where various issues of mutual interest will be discussed. "We do FOC (Foreign Office Consultations) with many countries. It is a routine matter," he added. Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen is scheduled to hold the regular bilateral meeting with his Indian counterpart Vinay Mohan Kwatra on Friday. This is the second foreign secretary-level meeting between the two countries this year. The first one was held in February in Dhaka. At the Foreign Office Consultations, the two countries usually discuss all the major issues of mutual interests to promote cooperation encompassing all sectors. Read: ‘Those threatening to foil polls had shown bias towards undemocratic change in power in the past’ Recently, Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said the relationship between Bangladesh and India today stands out as a model in terms of shared benefits. In an interaction in London, he said the two countries have settled the land boundary and maritime border issues. Jaishankar highlighted connectivity cooperation, energy supply and use of ports and noted that Bangladesh-India ties stand as model ties.
Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen on Monday (November 20, 2023) said no political issues will be discussed in the foreign secretary-level talks between the two countries. "I don't think so. Political discussion has already been done. There will be no discussion about politics there," Momen told reporters at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs when a reporter wanted to whether political and upcoming elections will be discussed in the forthcoming meeting. The Foreign Minister said it is routine meeting between the two countries where various issues of mutual interest will be discussed. "We do FOC (Foreign Office Consultations) with many countries. It is a routine matter," he added. Read: Try to figure out a way to have dialogue without pre-conditions: Peter Haas urges parties Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen is scheduled to visit India on November 23 or 24 to hold a regular bilateral meeting with his Indian counterpart Vinay Mohan Kwatra. This is the second foreign secretary-level meeting between the two countries this year. The first one was held in February in Dhaka. Both the countries express their satisfaction on the excellent bilateral relation that exists between the two countries. In the Foreign Office Consultations, the two countries usually discuss all the major issues of mutual interests to promote cooperation encompassing all sectors. Read: No scope for dialogue now: Quader acknowledges receiving Donald Lu’s letter from Peter Haas Recently, Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said the relationship between Bangladesh and India today stands out as a model in terms of shared benefits. In an interaction in London, he said the two countries have settled the land boundary and maritime border issues. Jaishankar highlighted connectivity cooperation, energy supply and use of ports and noted that Bangladesh-India ties stand as model ties. Read more: With whom dialogue will take place, FM wants to know
Bangladesh, Indonesia keen to work together in energy, agriculture, health sectors in line with signed bilateral agreements
Bangladesh and Indonesia are keen to work jointly in energy, agriculture and health sectors in line with the signed bilateral agreements between the friendly countries. Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen briefed reporters after meeting between Bangladesh President Mohammed Shahabuddin and his Indonesian counterpart Joko Widodo. The bilateral meeting between the Bangladesh President and his Indonesian counterpart was held on the sidelines of the 43rd summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and 18th ‘East Asia summit’ at Kakatua Room of Jakarta Convention Center (JCC). Noting that both the countries earlier signed three MoUs (memorandum of understanding) on energy and health sectors, it was acknowledged there is an ample opportunity to ensure joint work for the benefit of the two peoples. IORA Secretary General pays courtesy call on President Shahabuddin in Jakarta The Bangladesh President expressed his heartiest thanks to his Indonesian counterpart for inviting him as well as the excellent hospitality extended to the Bangladesh delegation during the visit. Referring to the tremendous development in Bangladesh’s different socio-economic and health sectors, the Indonesian President highly appreciated the country’s development in health sector, specially in the ‘Community Clinic’ concept designed by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina that gained worldwide appreciation. The Bangladesh President told his Indonesian counterpart to import international-standard pharmaceutical products, ceramic and readymade garments from Bangladesh, inviting the Indonesian investors to invest here as an investment-friendly atmosphere is prevailing in the country over the last decade. Concerted efforts needed for transition to circularity: BGMEA President “An initiative is still going on to ensure a mutual decision to recognize the certificate of the physicians of the two countries for the betterment of the two countries,” Dr Momen quoted the President as saying during the bilateral talks. Noting that Bangladesh is setting up as many as 51 Special Economic Zones (SEZs) all over the country as well as 39 Hi-Tech Parks and other specialized Economic Zones, the President said, “If Indonesia is interested, Bangladesh would be happy to designate an Indonesia-specific Economic Zone for them.” As Bangladesh aspires to transform itself into a manufacturing hub being located at the junction of South Asia and South East Asia with a goal for becoming a trillion-dollar economy by the end of this decade, the President stressed on larger collaboration between the two countries’ private sectors to avail opportunities of investment. President Shahabuddin joins ASEAN summit opening ceremony in Jakarta President Shahabuddin hoped that direct air connectivity between Dhaka and Jakarta or Bali would be established soon, creating an opportunity to establish coastal shipping among sea ports of the two states. On the Rohingya issues, the President sought all-out support of the Indonesian government and its people to end the crisis as saying, “Bangladesh has sheltered displaced Myanmar citizens due to humanitarian grounds.” The Indonesian President said the Rohingya repatriation issue has been broadly discussed in the ASEAN meetings and also assured of providing necessary assistances in this regard. President Shahabuddin sought further cooperation of the ASEAN chair and others concerned to ensure the membership of ASEAN Sectoral Dialogue Partner. Expressing satisfaction over the existing growing bilateral relations between Bangladesh and Indonesia, Shahabuddin said Bangladesh highly values its relations with Indonesia, as being one of the first Muslim countries to recognize Bangladesh during the lifetime of Bangladesh’s Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Counselor of the US Department of State Derek Chollet is scheduled to arrive here Tuesday as his country sees "huge potential" in their relationship with Bangladesh and a lot of "room to grow." During his 24-hour stay, Chollet will meet Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen Wednesday at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs apart from his other engagements in Dhaka. Chollet serves at the rank of under secretary as a senior policy advisor to the US secretary of state on a wide range of issues and conducts special diplomatic assignments as directed by the secretary. Bangladesh saw a series of senior US officials visiting it in recent months with the last one by US Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asia Donald Lu. Bangladesh said the visit of the US counselor will help strengthen its relations with the US. "The purpose of his visit is to strengthen the bilateral relations between Bangladesh and the US," Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Seheli Sabrin told reporters recently. Sabrin said Chollet will also discuss the Rohingya issue. Bangladesh is hosting over 1.1 million Rohingyas in Cox's Bazar and Bhasan Char. "It is a remarkable journey – 51 years. We are interested in deepening the ties," said the US counselor ahead of his planned visit. Talking at the television talk show "Tritiyo Matra" online, the US counselor said he is coming to talk to senior officials and private sectors in Bangladesh to discuss ways to deepen the ongoing cooperation between the two countries. Read more: US sees huge potential to grow its relations with Bangladesh: Counselor Chollet Mentioning that the US places democracy and human rights at the heart of their foreign policy, Chollet said Bangladesh is such a good long-standing friend, and they have "very frank exchanges" about the concerns they have. The issues related to the Rohingya crisis and the overall security in the Indo-Pacific region are likely to get priority during his visit. "We are deeply concerned about the situation in Myanmar which is only getting worse," said Chollet. The US wants a solution to the Rohingya crisis, and the solution lies in Myanmar but instability is growing inside Myanmar. The US counselor said they are doing whatever they can in cooperation with Bangladesh and trying to ease the pressure on the country from the refugee crisis by providing critical assistance to it to support its humanitarian needs, also with efforts to try to bring some of the refugees back to the US. There are "a whole host of issues" that the two countries can work together, said the US counselor.
Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen is likely to attend the G20 foreign ministers' meeting in New Delhi during March 1-2. India, holding G20 presidency, has invited Bangladesh, Egypt, Mauritius, Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Singapore, Spain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as guest countries to its meetings and summit, according to the Ministry of External Affairs, India. Under its presidency, India is expected to host over 200 G20 meetings across the country this year. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been invited to attend the 18th G20 Heads of State and Government Summit which will take place during September 9-10 this year in New Delhi. Hasina paid a state visit to India from September 5 to 8 last year at the invitation of her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi. Read more: FM to visit UAE from Feb 10-13 to attend series of events Apart from the G20 leaders, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Saeed Hussein Khalil El-Sisi, Mauritian Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, Oman Head of State Sultan Haitham bin Tarik, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan have been invited to the G20 Summit. Meanwhile, Indian Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra is likely to be in Dhaka in the third week of February to have bilateral talks with his Bangladesh counterpart Masud Bin Momen, said a diplomatic source. Kwatra assumed charge as foreign secretary on May 1 last year.
Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen on Thursday said the Bangladesh-India relationship has seen "transformative changes" reaching a new height with significant achievements through cooperation and collaboration. "Bangladesh attaches the highest importance to its relations with India," he said while speaking at a reception at the 74th Republic Day of India. Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Pranay Verma hosted the reception. Momen said the relationship between the two countries led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi created opportunities for robust cooperation to achieve more together. The foreign minister said there are huge untapped opportunities on the trade front for the countries. He said Bangladesh and India have started a discussion on the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement which will bring benefits for the two countries. He emphasised peace and stability in the region for further development to benefit all. Momen emphasised synergised efforts and mutually beneficial partnership between Bangladesh and India for the betterment of the lives and livelihoods of the people of the two countries. The foreign minister recalled the crucial role played by the people and government of India during the War of Liberation of Bangladesh in 1971. He enthusiastically called India Bangladesh's closest neighbour – both in terms of bilateral relations and geographical proximity. Momen emphasised that the visit of Sheikh Hasina to India in September last year has added new momentum to the "excellent" bilateral relations already existing between the countries. Expressing satisfaction over the rapidly growing bilateral trade that increased three-fold during the last decade, he called for enhancing bilateral trade in a balanced manner addressing all trade barriers. He stressed complimenting each other's economy for the prosperity of both countries. Read more: 74th Republic Day of India celebrated in Dhaka
Newly appointed Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang had a brief stopover at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport early Tuesday. "Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen received his Chinese counterpart upon his arrival at around 1:58am. Chinese ambassador to Bangladesh and senior officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) were also present," a senior MoFA official told UNB. The foreign ministers had a brief meeting there and discussed issues of mutual interest. Earlier, Momen told UNB that it was not an official visit to Bangladesh, but the Chinese foreign minister would make a stopover here on his way to another destination. Qin Gang, who until recently was ambassador to the US, has started his term with a weeklong trip to five African countries. Read more: China’s foreign minister signals deeper ties with Russia To "deepen the China-Africa comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership" and boost friendly cooperation between China and Africa, Foreign Minister Qin Gang will visit Ethiopia, Gabon, Angola, Benin, Egypt, the African Union Headquarters and the League of Arab States Headquarters upon invitation, from January 9 to 16, 2023," Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at a daily media briefing on Monday. This is the 33rd consecutive year that Africa has been the destination of the Chinese foreign ministers' annual first overseas visit, he added.
Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen today said that the recommendations some foreigners at times give seem to be “idiotic and illusory”. “Foreigners' knowledge on Bangladesh is very limited,” he said, adding that people of the country are well aware of this. Read more: People will have better standard of living if current development trend continues: Momen The foreign minister was talking to reporters after a meeting at the community clinic of Civil Surgeon‘s office in Sylhet. Thirty lakh people sacrificed their lives to establish human rights and justice when this country was formed, Momen said. The minister said about 70-80 percent people cast their votes in elections in this country, adding that not even 25-30 percent people in many countries vote. “Candidates cannot be found in the election. But in this country, a large number of candidates compete for each post.” Read more: Govt to honour expats through National Expatriate Day: Momen Under the circumstance, Momen urged the media not to focus on foreigners’ statements. “If the media does not go to them (foreigners), they will sit idle,” he said, adding that no country has such media freedom as in Bangladesh. “Many opposition parties are spreading misinformation abroad as they do not want the country to develop,” Momen added.
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen today urged the international community to scale up financial and technological support for the developing countries to cope with the adverse impacts of climate change. The ongoing Russia-Ukraine war and the resulting cost-of-living crisis around the world, aggravated by sanctions and counter-sanctions, cannot be a pretext for diminishing or diverting the much needed financing for tackling the climate crisis in order to save planet earth, he said. Speaking at the launching ceremony of the global hub of Locally Led Adaptation (LLA), Momen said the government of Bangladesh stands ready to provide full support to the Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) to achieve the goal of the global hub which is to promote Locally Led Adaptation (LLA) at scale, with speed, to reduce climate risks for populations and sections of society that are most vulnerable to climate change. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina joined the launching ceremony virtually as the chief guest. "The kind presence of our Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at this launch is clear testimony to our unstinting support," Momen said. Read more: $230bn needed: PM seeks support from global partners to implement climate adaptation plan The Foreign Minister congratulated Ban Ki-moon and the entire GCA team once again. "I feel personally pleased to be able to serve as a member of the GCA Governing Body. The launch of the Global Hub today is indeed a positive step forward from our decision to host the GCA Regional Office in Dhaka. Soon we plan to organize other events," he said. Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Md. Shahab Uddin, 8th Secretary General of the United Nations and Chair of the Board, Global Center on Adaptation Ban Ki-moon, Chief Executive Officer, Global Center on Adaptation Prof. Dr. Patrick Verkooijen and British High Commissioner to Bangladesh Robert Chatterton Dickson spoke at the launching ceremony held at Foreign Service Academy. Momen thanked the government of the United Kingdom for its support in establishing the global hub. "I hope, following the UK, other countries/ institutions will come forward with generous funding." Each year, Momen said, more than 6,50,000 people of Bangladesh are being uprooted from their homes, from their traditional jobs, due to erratic climate changes and global warming and river erosion and the government has the responsibility to rehabilitate them although the government has no role in contributing to their uprooting. There are varieties of estimates that say that around 20% of the coastal areas of Bangladesh will be flooded, and there could be millions uprooted from their homes. "If millions of people are uprooted from their homes it will create a global security problem," Momen said, adding that "before such a situation happens, I would request global leaders to come forward to share the burden of their rehabilitation and also take corrective action so that that situation never happens." The Foreign Minister said, "Our journey with GCA is promising and progressing. It pleases me to witness that over a span of just 2 years, GCA and the Bangladesh Government have developed the adaptation activities." Read more: New abnormal: Climate disaster damage ‘down’ to $268 billion Bangladesh is ready to share similar home-grown solutions such as floating agriculture, rainwater harvesting, early warning system, climate resistant crop varieties with other vulnerable countries through this Global Hub, he said.
Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen inaugurated ‘Bangabandhu Corner’ and ‘Bangabandhu Garden’ at the APJ Abdul Kalam Learning and Resource Center of India’s National Institute of Technology (NIT), Silchar situated in Assam State on Saturday. Later, Momen attended a discussion and cultural program held at the institute’s Bhupen Hazarika Auditorium as the chief guest, where he thanked the Indian government for honoring Father of The Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Read more: Bangabandhu corners are not just rooms with pictures, books: Momen “Through the establishment of Mujib Corner at South Asia’s largest digital library, the students of NIT will get a chance to know more about the life, struggles and achievements of Bangabandhu. Besides, the students will also learn about Bangladesh’s long struggle for freedom and India’s contribution during the Liberation War of Bangladesh,” Momen said.