The EU Head of Delegation and Ambassador to Bangladesh Rensje Teerink conveyed this message when met with new Foreign Minister Dr. AK Abdul Momen MP at the State Guest House Padma today.
EU Ambassador also congratulated Foreign Minister Dr Momen and reiterated willingness of the EU to remain constructively engaged with the new government with a view to work together and collaborate on issues of mutual interests like good governance, deeper economic partnership, Rohingya crisis, migration, climate change, development cooperation, and beyond. EU Ambassador further explored ways how to upgrade the existing instruments of engagement, in the context of evolving Bangladesh – EU relationship, in the post-LDC era, where bilateral agenda is shifting from development issues towards more political in nature.
Foreign Minister Dr. Momen expressed deep appreciation and gratitude for long-standing and comprehensive EU support for Bangladesh, since independence. Terming EU as Bangladesh’s important ‘partner’, he sought continued cooperation and enhanced collaboration to build even stronger partnership at all levels – governments, businesses/private sectors, academia and civil society, including public-private partnerships to achieve the dream of Bangabandhu’s ‘Sonar Bangla’ [Golden Bengal]. As Bangladesh is aspiring to be a middle income country by 2021 and developed country by 2041, under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh Foreign Minister explored ways to build new and innovative partnerships, particularly how to finance the SDGs through effective partnerships as stipulated under Goal 17. In response, the EU Ambassador mentioned about the European Investment Banka (EIB), which is already financing a good number of projects in energy transmission, wastewater management and climate change mitigation. She also mentioned about the need for better ‘business climate’ for enhanced European investments in Bangladesh.
Foreign Minister Dr. Momen thanked the EU for extending comprehensive support for the Rohingya crisis, a ‘humanitarian tragedy’ and urged the Ambassador to do more so that the Rohingyas could go back to their ancestral homeland in safety and dignity. The EU Ambassador reiterated EU’s full support for the Ronhingya crisis and commended Bangladesh’s significant contribution in sheltering such large number of people, detriment to the local communities and environment.
The EU Ambassador expressed happiness at the ongoing “extremely valuable and successful” cooperation between Bangladesh and EU in the area of migration.