EU wants to continue to work with Bangladesh, EU envoy tells PM


DHAKA, March 5, 2019 (BSS) – European Union (EU) Ambassador to Bangladesh Rense Teerink has said EU wants to continue to work with Bangladesh for mutual benefits.

“We want to continue to work with Bangladesh for mutual benefits,” the EU ambassador told Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina when she paid a courtesy call on the PM at her Jatiya Sangsad Office here this evening.

German Ambassador in Dhaka Peter Fahrenholtz was present at the meeting.

After the meeting, PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed reporters.

Teerink said EU is one of the biggest export destinations of Bangladesh and both sides are being benefited from it. “We are keen to boost up trade relations with Bangladesh,” she said.

Mentioning that the EU is a big development partner of Bangladesh in education sector, she said, “We also want to continue this cooperation.”

The German envoy highly appreciated Bangladesh’s tremendous development under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

“Facing so many challenges, Bangladesh has been progressing to become a middle income country,” he said.

In this connection, the premier said, “There was a big challenge for us to develop the country as the Awami League remained out of power for 21 years and all those years were ruled by the military dictators overtly or covertly.”

Highlighting Bangladesh’s tremendous development in different sectors, the prime minister said after forming the government in 1996 Awami League opened everything to the private sector for speedy development of the country.

While talking about the last general elections, Sheikh Hasina said Awami League secured landslide victory in the polls as the people particularly the women and young people in large number gave vote to the party due to the country’s massive development over the past 10 years.

“We were reelected as the people want to carry forward the development spree in the country,” she said.

Referring to BNP’s debacle in the polls, Sheikh Hasina said it appeared from the election campaign of the BNP that the party was not interested in the elections.

Referring to the BNP-Jamaat’s atrocities on the Awami League leaders and workers as well as the minority people, the premier said the Hindus were persecuted massively during the BNP-Jamaat regime.

The German ambassador said Bangladesh is marching ahead fast with peace, security and stability despite facing many challenges.

On the issue of boosting trade and commerce between the EU countries and Bangladesh, he said this can be made in joint venture.

Later, British High Commissioner in Dhaka Alison Blake paid a farewell call on the prime minister at the same place.

At the meeting, the premier sought cooperation from the UK for construction of rail line from Padma Bridge to Payra Port saying the UK has huge experience in railway sector.

The British High Commissioner highly appreciated Bangladesh for its tremendous development in women empowerment.

In reply, the prime minister said that initially it was a tough job for her government for empowering the women, but now it is going on smoothly.

Sheikh Hasina and Alison Blake expressed satisfaction over the existing relations between the two countries and hoped that the ties will be strengthened further in the days to come.

The British envoy said that her country will work with Bangladesh on the climate change issue.

The prime minister recalled that Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman first landed in London in 1972 after his release from Pakistan jail and had a meeting with the then British Prime Minister Edward Heath.

PMO Secretary Sajjadul Hassan was present at both the meetings.