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Dhaka Tribune

Bangladesh seeks Malaysia, Cambodia's support for Asean berth

Bangladesh, in separate meetings with Malaysia and Cambodia, renews commitment to further solidifying bilateral relations

Update : 18 Jul 2023, 06:14 PM

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen met his Malaysian and Cambodian counterparts, Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir Prak Sokhonn, in Jakarta and sought their support in becoming a sectoral dialogue partner of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).

The meetings took place on the sidelines of the 30th Asean Regional Forum (ARF) on July 14 in Jakarta, the foreign ministry said on Tuesday.

They reviewed the whole gamut of the existing excellent bilateral relations, and the foreign ministers renewed their commitment to further solidifying the ties.

Malaysia

During the meeting with the Malaysian minister, Momen, appreciating the signing of the agreement on the workforce, said recruitment of agencies is fully under the jurisdiction of the Malaysian government, requesting them to ensure that poor people are not exploited.

Moreover, he stressed enhancing cooperation in different sectors, particularly in trade, energy, agro-processing industries, pharmaceutical, ICT and investment in the 100 Special Economic Zones of Bangladesh.

By thanking the Malaysian government for extending support to The Gambia and informing the minister of the recent progress on the Rohingya issue, Momen called for a stronger voice of Malaysia in various regional and international forums for bringing a sustainable solution to the protracted Rohingya crisis by expediting safe and dignified repatriation. 

He also sought the support of Malaysia in favour of Bangladesh's bid to be a sectoral dialogue partner of Asean. 

Momen also invited his Malaysian counterpart to visit Bangladesh at a mutually convenient time.

Cambodia

Momen also met with Prak Sokhonn, deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs of Cambodia, in Jakarta on July 14 on the sidelines of the ARF.

They discussed issues of mutual interest, reasserting their commitment to further strengthening the relations between Bangladesh and Cambodia in the future. 

Momen shared Bangladesh's concerns on the issue of forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals and urged more coordinated and proactive support of Asean countries for persuading Myanmar to create a conducive environment for an early, safe and dignified repatriation of more than 1.2 million Rohingyas from Bangladesh.

He also sought the support of Cambodia in expediting Bangladesh's candidacy for becoming a sectoral dialogue partner of Asean.

Informing his Cambodian counterpart of Bangladesh's 100 Special Economic Zones, he stressed accelerating bilateral cooperation in trade, investment, agriculture, agro-processing, contract farming, infrastructure development, pharmaceuticals, air connectivity and ICT.

The two countries agreed to enhance cooperation by signing and renewing MOUs and free trade agreements, increasing people-to-people exchange and strengthening collaboration in trade and investments.

Asean and its partners

Asean was established on August 8, 1967 in Bangkok.

Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei Darussalam, Vietnam, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Cambodia are the ten member states of Asean.

For external engagement, to date, Asean has established dialogue partnerships with Australia, Canada, China, the European Union, India, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States. 

Sectoral dialogue partners include Brazil, Norway, Pakistan, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.

Meanwhile, development partners include Chile, France, Germany and Italy.


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