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Dhaka Tribune

Australian FM Penny Wong arrives in Bangladesh

  • Visit aimed at enhancing bilateral cooperation
  • Scheduled to visit Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar
Update : 21 May 2024, 01:14 PM

Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong arrived in Dhaka on Tuesday morning.

She was welcomed at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport by the Secretary of the Maritime Affairs Unit, Rear Admiral (Retd) Md Khurshed Alam, and the Bangladesh High Commissioner to Australia M Allama Siddiki.

Later in the afternoon, she is scheduled to meet Foreign Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said she is paying a two-day bilateral visit to Dhaka.

Earlier, Penny Wong said her first visit to Bangladesh is aimed at enhancing bilateral cooperation.

Her visit is also aimed “to advance Australia's interests in a peaceful, stable and prosperous Indian Ocean region.”

“As Australia enhances our engagement with the Indian Ocean region, I am pleased to undertake my first visit to Bangladesh,” she said in a statement on Monday, ahead of her arrival.

“Australia is working with Bangladesh to deepen our cooperation, including on trade and investment, and to find practical solutions to shared challenges such as climate change, regional maritime security and people smuggling, she said.

She is set to discuss these issues during her meetings with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her counterpart Dr Hasan Mahmud, among others.

Penny Wong also said that Australia and Bangladesh have significant people-to-people links, with over 50,000 people in Australia born in Bangladesh. 

She is set to travel to Cox's Bazar, where she will observe how Australia's humanitarian assistance is delivering practical support to displaced Rohingya and Bangladeshi host communities.

“Australia's humanitarian assistance is part of a global effort to address the causes of displacement, find durable solutions, and ultimately allow Rohingya to realize their goal of returning to their homeland,” she said.

From Dhaka, she will go to Singapore where she will discuss trade and investment, green economy opportunities, defence and security, among others.

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