Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and visiting Turkish premier Binali Yildirm on Tuesday agreed to continue to work together for socio-economic development and issues of mutual concerns like Rohingya crisis.
The two premiers reiterated their commitment to work closely and support each other on bilateral and international matters and issues of mutual concern including the crisis involving the forcibly displaced Rohingyas of Myanmar.
The two premiers made the commitments issuing separate statements after their officials talks at Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) in capital Tuesday.
Sheikh Hasina was aided by Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali, Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu, Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed, Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal during the talks.
Turkish Deputy Prime Minister and Co-chair of Turkey-Bangladesh Joint Economic Commission Bekir BOZAG and Turkish ambassador in Bangladesh Devrim OZTURK accompanied Yildirm, who arrived in Dhaka yesterday on a two-day official visit.
Sheikh Hasina in her statement expressed the hope that Turkey would remain beside Bangladesh in course of its journey towards development while she thanked Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for his continuous support towards Bangladesh particularly in addressing the Rohingyas issue.
The Turkish Prime Minister in his statement pointed out Ankara’s strong ties and brotherly relations with Bangladesh and said Turkey did not forget Bangladesh’s support for its democracy and government.
Sheikh Hasina said she had very fruitful discussion with the Prime Minister of Turkey on bilateral and international issues of common interests.
“We have reiterated our commitment to work closely and support each other on bilateral and international issues of mutual concern, including the issue of forcibly displaced Rohingya people from Myanmar,” she said.
The Bangladesh premier appreciated Yildirm’s planned visit to Rohingya camps tomorrow.
Sheikh Hasina said she also talked discussed with her Turkish counterpart on consolidating cooperation of the two countries in key areas, such as, trade and investment, defence, education, tourism and connectivity.
She hoped that the instruments signed between the two countries would help strengthen cooperation in the areas of Small and Medium Enterprises (SME), industrial production, standardization, capacity building, knowledge sharing and skill development.
The Turkish prime minister urged the international community and UN to remain beside Bangladesh until the Rohingya crisis was over while reassured Dhaka of Ankara’s continued support to Bangladesh which Dhaka needed to assist the displaced people of Myanmar.
Appreciating the 2021 goal of the present government to make Bangladesh a middle income country he said Ankara was ready to be a partner of this development.
He also highly appreciated the role of Bangladesh on Jerusalem issue and presence of Bangladesh President in the special summit of the OIC on the issue.
Briefing reporters after the bilateral talks Foreign Secretary Md. Shahidul Huq said the talks were held in a very cordial and warm atmosphere and before the talks the two prime ministers held a tete-e-tete.
In the meeting Sheikh Hasina pointed out the potentials of bilateral trade and investment which should be exploited and urged the Turkish prime minister to withdraw trade barriers including the additional duty on garments items.
The Turkish premier assured Sheikh Hasina to look into the matter after returning home, the foreign sectary said.
Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh government is ready to allot land for Turkish investors if they agree to invest in the Special Economic Zones and simultaneously sought preferential treatment for some Bangladeshi commodities and quick execution of the Free Trade Agreement pending to be initialed.
Yildirim in reply agreed to discuss the issues in the meeting of the Joint Economic Commission of the two countries scheduled to be held in April next year in Ankara.
The foreign secretary said the two premiers meeting decided to establish Turkish-Bangladesh Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Association.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina informed Yildirim that Bangladesh gave shelter to one million Rohingyas of Myanmar on humanitarian ground and Dhaka want to resolve the issue without spoiling its relation with the neighbouring country.
In this regard she referred to a bilateral arrangement with Myanmar to send back the Rohingyas to their homeland but she simultaneously stressed the need for keeping pressure on Myanmar on the issue.
The prime minister requested the Turkish premier to build shelter houses and hospitals for the Rohingyas in the Bhasan Char as the government has decided to relocate them there.
Foreign SEcretary said the visit of Turkish Prime Minister is a step forward’ to explore the potentials lies between the two countries.
PM’s press secretary Ihsanul Karim Was present during the briefing.
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