The European Union (EU) has reiterated its willingness to remain “constructively engaged” with the new government with a view to working together and collaborating on core issues with its continued support to end Rohingya crisis.
EU Head of Delegation and Ambassador to Bangladesh Rensje Teerink conveyed this to Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Thursday when she met the new Foreign Minister of Bangladesh at the State Guest House Padma.
They talked about cooperation in the areas of mutual interests like good governance, deeper economic partnership, Rohingya crisis, migration, climate change, development cooperation and beyond.
Congratulating the Foreign Minister, the EU Ambassador further explored ways how to upgrade the existing instruments of engagement in the context of evolving Bangladesh – EU relationship, in the post-LDC era, where bilateral agenda is shifting from development issues towards more political in nature, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Foreign Minister Dr Momen expressed deep appreciation and gratitude for long-standing and comprehensive EU support for Bangladesh, since independence.
Terming EU as Bangladesh’s important ‘partner’, he sought continued cooperation and enhanced collaboration to build even stronger partnership at all levels – governments, businesses, private sectors, academia and civil society, including public-private partnerships to achieve the dream of Bangabandhu’s ‘Sonar Bangla’ [Golden Bengal].
As Bangladesh is aspiring to be a middle-income country by 2021 and a developed one by 2041 under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the Foreign Minister explored ways to build new and innovative partnerships, particularly how to finance the SDGs through effective partnerships as stipulated under Goal 17.
In response, the EU Ambassador mentioned about the European Investment Banka (EIB), which is already financing a good number of projects in energy transmission, wastewater management and climate change mitigation.
She also mentioned about the need for better ‘business climate’ for enhanced European investments in Bangladesh.
Dr Momen thanked the EU for extending comprehensive support for the Rohingya crisis, a ‘humanitarian tragedy’ and urged the Ambassador to do more so that the Rohingyas could go back to their ancestral homeland in safety and dignity.
The EU Ambassador reiterated EU’s full support for the Ronhingya crisis and commended Bangladesh’s significant contribution to sheltering such huge people, detrimental to local communities and the environment.
The EU Ambassador expressed happiness at the ongoing “extremely valuable and successful” cooperation between Bangladesh and EU in the area of migration.