Bangladeshi premier visits France in bid to boost defense, trade ties


Sheikh Hasina to distribute first-ever UNESCO-Bangladesh Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman International Prize for Creative Economy.

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AA) – Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina arrived in Paris on Tuesday as part of a five-day visit to France to deepen defense and trade ties between the two countries.

Hasina will also attend the 75th anniversary of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and distribute the first-ever UNESCO-Bangladesh Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman International Prize for Creative Economy.

French President Emmanuel Macron received Hasina at the Elysee Palace and the two leaders held a meeting that covered regional developments and issues of mutual interest.

Bangladesh and France are determined to bolster bilateral ties in defense, trade and adaptation to climate change, according to a joint statement following the meeting.

“Both countries reiterated their determination to enhance cooperation in all areas, including politics and diplomacy, defense and security, trade and investment, sustainable development and climate change, and education and cultural exchange,” it said.

The statement noted that Bangladesh and France have recognized the importance of sustained and substantive cooperation in relevant regional and multilateral fora.

“France and Bangladesh stated their will to further develop the defense and security component of their partnership,” it said, adding the two countries also agreed to strengthen dialogue and continue their cooperation, particularly in the area of training through capacity building and potential technology transfer.

“In this regard, both parties welcomed the signing of a letter of intent on defense cooperation,” it added.

Underlining the common stance of the two leaders for a free, open, peaceful, secure and inclusive Indo-Pacific region based on international law, the statement said that both parties agreed “to work towards promoting regional peace and stability and to explore further opportunities for cooperation in maritime security and the blue economy.”

Referring to global concerns over terrorism, it said that “in all its forms and manifestations, [terrorism] is one of the most serious threats to global peace and security and all terrorist acts are criminal and unjustifiable.”

The two leaders also “reaffirmed their desire to strengthen long-term economic and industrial partnerships, including in the sectors of agriculture, infrastructure, transport, energy and digital technology,” the statement added.

Regarding the Rohingya crisis, both states have underscored the need to ensure funding for the UN’s Joint Response Plan for the Rohingya in Bangladesh and to enable their voluntary, safe, dignified and sustainable return to Myanmar as soon as possible.

On Nov. 3, Hasina arrived in London from Glasgow after attending the World Leaders Summit at the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) and other events.

She is being accompanied on her visit to France by Bangladeshi Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen, Education Minister Dr. Dipu Moni, Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen and Bangladesh Ambassador Khandaker Mohammad Talha.


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