Hindustan Surkhiyan Desk:Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has expressed hope that the Election Commission will be able to hold an inclusive, fair and neutral national election by the year-end with support from all political parties, the administration and other stakeholders.
She expressed the optimism when German State Minister for Foreign Affairs Niels Annen met her at the Gono Bhaban.
PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed reporters after the meeting.
The premier told the German state minister that the Awami League had a long history of struggle for restoration of democracy.
Democracy suffered in Bangladesh as military rulers destroyed the country’s democratic institutions and system, she added.
Hasina said the Election Commission is absolutely independent and it has already conducted more than 6,000 polls to the country’s local government bodies under the incumbent government.
“None of the elections was questionable. Sometimes our rivals won the polls and sometimes we won,” Ihsanul quoted the PM as saying.
About the Rohingya crisis, she said Bangladesh wants a peaceful solution to the crisis as it follows the policy of “Friendship to all, malice to none” as framed by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
She said Bangladesh gave shelter to Rohingyas on humanitarian grounds and provided them with identity cards bringing them under a biometric registration system.
The Rohingyas outnumbered the locals in Cox’s Bazar and they suffer due to the displaced Myanmar nationals, the PM added.
She expressed happiness at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with German-based Veridos GmbH for implementation of e-Passport project in Bangladesh.
Hasina extended her invitation through the visiting minister to German Chancellor Angela Merkel to visit Bangladesh.
The German state minister assured that his country would continue its support, including financial support for the displaced Rohingyas in Cox’s Bazar.
Niels said the large number of Rohingyas was a huge pressure on the Bangladesh government.
He said Germany has a long tradition of vocational training and it can cooperate with Bangladesh in this regard.
He lauded Bangladesh’s socio-economic development achieved under Hasina’s leadership.
Principal Secretary of the Prime Minister’s Office Md Nojibur Rahman, Bangladesh Ambassador to Germany Imtiaz Ahmed and German Ambassador to Bangladesh Thomas Prinz were present, among others.
The German state minister arrived in Dhaka on Wednesday afternoon on a two-day visit to discuss bilateral issues.