PM sees new momentum in Dhaka-Delhi ties through her visit -The Asian Age

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday said the bilateral ties between Bangladesh and India reached a special height generating a new momentum in the relations between the two neighbouring countries through her recent visit to India.

“Bangladesh’s bilateral relations with India have reached a special height. Overall, I think a new momentum has been created in our bilateral relations through this visit,” she said.  

The Prime Minister came up with the remarks in her written speech at a crowded press conference held at her official residence Ganobhaban in the afternoon focusing on the outcomes of her recent visits to the USA and India.

Sheikh Hasina convened the press conference and highlighted the outcomes of her participation in the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly and other various high-level side events in New York as well as her recent visit to India.

The Prime Minister said priority was given mainly to issues related to climate change, poverty elimination, quality education and inclusive development in the 74th UNGA.

Besides, a number of high-level events were held on some other important issues like sustainable development goals and universal health coverage, she said.

Sheikh Hasina said in her speech at the UNGA, she placed a four-point proposal at the UNGA general debate to solve the Rohingya crisis.

In her four-point proposal, Sheikh Hasina said Myanmar must manifest clear and concrete actions for sustainable return and reintegration of Rohingyas to Myanmar, discard discriminatory laws and practices, guarantee security and safety of the Rohingyas by deploying civilian monitors from international community in the Rakhine State.

In the proposal, she also said, international community must ensure that the root causes of Rohingya problem are addressed and the violation of human rights and other atrocity crimes committed against the Rohingyas are accounted for.

The Prime Minister said she highlighted her government’s unprecedented success during the last 10 years in various sectors, including socio-economic fronts, as well as in poverty reduction, social safety net, education and health care.

Besides, peaceful use of nuclear energy, climate change and establishing culture of peace were also highlighted in her speech at the UNGA, she added.

On the sidelines, Sheikh Hasina said, she attended and addressed a number of high-level side events, including on migration, Rohingya crisis, universal health coverage, mental health and on Council on Foreign Relations.

She said she held bilateral meetings with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres there.

She also had talks separately with ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, Chair of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Bill Gates, UN Secretary-General's Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development Queen Maxima and Honorary President of Global Hop Coalition Irina Bokova.

Besides, Sheikh Hasina received ‘Champion of the Skills Development for Youths' Award in recognition of her outstanding contributions to skill development of the youth, and ‘Vaccine Hero’ award in recognition of Bangladesh's outstanding success in vaccination to immunise children.

About her visit to India, Sheikh Hasina said she joined the WEF’s Country Strategy Dialogue on Bangladesh and in the closing plannery session of the WEF’s India Economic Summit held in New Delhi.

In her speech at the closing plannery, the Prime Minister said, she underscored strengthening joint efforts in further enhancing regional, sub-regional and bilateral ties.

Besides, she joined an interactive session with selected CEOs of Indian Organisations, and the inauguration of India-Bangladesh Business Forum.

During the tour, the Prime Minister held bilateral talks with her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi at the Hyderabad House in New Delhi.

After the meeting, seven MoUs were signed and exchanged between the two sides to further strengthen cooperation on various sectors, she said.

During her stay in New Delhi, the Prime Minister paid a courtesy call on Indian President Ram Nath Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi.

On the other hand, Indian External Affairs Minister Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and President of India’s National Congress Sonia Gandhi called on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

About her meeting with Indian External Affairs Minister, the Prime Minister said she proposed introducing air flights on Dhaka-Chennai and Dhaka-Mumbai routes.

Besides, proposal was also given to use Saidpur Airport of Bangladesh for communication and carrying goods to northeastern states of India, she said.

Apart from these, Sheikh Hasina said, she attended an event on 150th birth anniversary celebration programme of Mahatma Gandhi in which a number of heads of the states and governments joined.

Meanwhile, Asiatic Society of India honoured Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina with the prestigious “Tagore Peace Award 2018” in recognition of her contribution in maintaining regional peace and prosperity.