Newly appointed Afghan Ambassador to Bangladesh Abdul Qayoom Malikzad on Wednesday requested Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to reopen Bangladesh’s diplomatic mission in Kabul to renew the historical and cultural relations between the two countries.
The ambassador came up with the request when he made a courtesy call on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at Ganabhaban in Dhaka on Wednesday, PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim said.
Recalling the long history and close relations between the two countries, Malikzad said his country is keen to promote trade and business relations with Bangladesh.
Afghanistan was one of the first countries that recognised Bangladesh after its independence, he said, appreciating Bangladesh’s economic progress and graduation from the LDC to the status of developing countries.
Welcoming the newly appointed Afghan Ambassador in Dhaka, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina stressed strengthening the trade relations between Dhaka and Kabul. Bangladesh gives value its relations with neighbours, she said.
Bangladesh imports a huge amount of dry foods from Afghanistan every year and Afghanistan can import high quality medicine from Bangladesh, she said.
Congratulating Sheikh Hasina for her party’s victory in the last general elections, the Afghan envoy underscored the need for strengthening cooperation between the two countries. He also put emphasis on close ties between the chambers of commerce of the two countries.
Sheikh Hasina said people gave vote for Awami League as they get benefitted when Awami League comes to power.
She said her government is running the country with commitment to meet the basic needs of the people as dreamt by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
In this regard, the prime minister highlighted her government’s social safety net programme for the marginalised people, saying financial support is being provided for promotion of education of poor families and distressed people under the programme.
Sheikh Hasina also drew a line on between the economic progress of Bangladesh and Pakistan after the independence. “After the independence, the exchange rate of Bangladesh Taka and Pakistani Rupee was 1.56 and 1.00. Now the rate is 1.00 and 1.66,” she said.
The Afghan envoy informed the prime minister that the two countries are waiting for signing five memorandums of understanding (MoU).
He also informed the prime minister that democracy in his country is progressing.
Malikzad said his country is willing to import more pharmaceutical items from Bangladesh.
Principal Secretary Md Nojibur Rhman and PMO Secretary Sajjadul Hasan were present.