Australia to intensify development cooperation with Bangladesh

Australia will intensify development cooperation with Bangladesh and will promote the economic partnership in the years ahead. This was assured by Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne while she had a bilateral meeting with Foreign Minister of Bangladesh Abdul Momen in Dhaka on Thursday. Marise Payne is on a 3 day visit to Bangladesh to attend third IORA Blue Economy Ministerial Conference being held in Dhaka on 4-5 September 2019.

Foreign Minister Momen expressed his gratitude to the visiting Minister for reaffirming their support for the repatriation of the forcefully displaced Myanmar nationals. Before coming to Bangladesh Foreign Minister Marise Payne visited Myanmar to assess the circumstance in Myanmar with regard to Repatriation.

Foreign Minister Marise Payne assured Australia will remain engaged with international community to put pressure on Myanmar to create conducive environment towards safe and sustainable repatriation of the Rohingyas. Foreign Minister Momen said Rohingyas are fearful to going back to Rakhine state because of trust deficit and underlined the importance of early repatriation of the Rohingyas under international observation. Minister Marise Payne said she so far read reports on Rohingya crisis and to realize the real circumstance and ground situation she visited Cox’s Bazar Rohingya camp . She said Australia will continue its communication with Myanmar for solution of the Rohingya crisis and will increase its humanitarian assistance for the displaced people through NGOs and UN agencies.

Australian Foreign Minister appreciated economic development of Bangladesh under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. She said Australia is willing to grow its relations with Bangladesh with greater engagement. The two Foreign Ministers pledged to work together to promote peace, stability and prosperity in Indian Ocean region. Foreign Minister invited Australian investment in Special Economic Zones(SEZs) of Bangladesh.

In light of growing business interactions and people-to-people contact between Bangladesh and Australia, Foreign Minister Momen requested  Australian Foreign Minister to review Australia’s travel advisory on Bangladesh. Minister Momen also requested to resume the visa office at Australian High Commission in Dhaka which is currently shifted to New Delhi. Foreign Minister Momen also requested Minister Payne to lift the air cargo restrictions in light of meeting of aviation security standards at Dhaka airport. Minister Payne assured Australian side will follow up on these requests and will report back.

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