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Dhaka seeks Jakarta’s support to be Asean’s dialogue partner

  • Published at 07:19 pm January 28th, 2018
  • Last updated at 01:49 am January 29th, 2018
Dhaka seeks Jakarta’s support to be Asean’s dialogue partner
Bangladesh has sought Indonesia’s support in favour of Bangladesh’s request for Sectoral Dialogue Partnership with Asean. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina reiterated her government’s keen interest to intensify trade, economic and regional peace and security partnerships with the Southeast Asian alliance nations and sought support to that end. Indonesian President Joko Widodo welcomed Bangladesh’s desire for institutionalising relations with Asean and encouraged Bangladesh for a more active engagement with Asean, according to a joint statement issued on Sunday on his state visit. According to the joint statement, both leaders stressed the need for enhancing air connectivity to promote people-to-people contact, tourism and trade. They also agreed to work to further widen cooperation in the areas of agriculture, ICT, defence and tourism. Recognising the threats arising out of terrorism, violent extremism and radicalisation on any religious or societal pretext, the leaders agreed to work together to counter all such challenges in both countries and beyond. President Widodo appreciated the warm hospitality and courtesies extended to him and his delegation by the government and the people of Bangladesh during the visit.
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He invited the president and the prime minister of Bangladesh to visit Indonesia at a mutually convenient time. Widodo had paid homage to the martyrs of the 1971 War of Independence at the National Memorial in Savar on Sunday morning. Following this, he paid tributes to the Father of the Nation of Bangladesh Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at the Bangabandhu Memorial Museum in Dhaka’s Dhanmondi 32. Both Widodo and Hasina recalled the association between Bangabandhu and Founding Father of Indonesia President Sukarno, particularly in the Non-aligned Movement. The Indonesian president had held a meeting with his Bangladesh counterpart Md Abdul Hamid at Bangabhaban on Saturday. Prime Minister Hasina and President Widodo held a tête-à-tête, which was followed by a bilateral meeting between the two sides. Widodo praised Bangladesh’s socio-economic development under the visionary leadership of Hasina.
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He also expressed confidence that under her leadership, Bangladesh would graduate to a middle-income country by 2021. The prime minister appreciated his pro-people leadership and various initiatives for achieving welfare-oriented economic development in Indonesia. She noted with appreciation Indonesia’s constructive role in Asean and the OIC. The two leaders reiterated that Bangladesh-Indonesia relationship is rooted in the shared historic, religious, cultural and linguistic heritage of the two nations. They agreed to further strengthen the bilateral relations to achieve shared prosperity through mutually beneficial partnership. Widodo and Hasina welcomed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on Foreign Office Consultations between the two countries which will pave the way for holding periodic consultations between the foreign ministries of the two countries.
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The two leaders also agreed to hold the Third Meeting of the Joint Commission in 2018 in Dhaka. They also expressed satisfaction over the discussion on the commercial deal for sales-purchase between Petrobangla of Bangladesh and Peftamina of Indonesia for importing LNG. The leaders agreed to further widen and deepen cooperation in the energy sector. Both the leaders welcomed the joint statement by the Indonesian trade minister of and Bangladesh’s commerce minister to commence the process of bilateral trade negotiation. Widodo and Hasina also recognised the need for collaboration between the private sectors of the two countries for availing of the opportunities of investment in both the countries.