Bangladesh called on the UK government to cooperate with Bangladesh in establishing a peaceful and conflict-free world and ending the ongoing war in Gaza and Ukraine – BD Foreign Minister in UK.

Foreign Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud,  called upon the UK government to collaborate with Bangladesh to establish a peaceful and conflict-free world and to put an end to the ongoing wars in Gaza and Ukraine.

During his speech as the Guest of Honour at a high-profile diplomatic reception hosted by Bangladesh High Commission, London to celebrate the 54th Independence and National Day of Bangladesh on Wednesday, 01 May, the  Foreign Minister emphasized the urgent need for an immediate ceasefire in conflict zones worldwide, including Gaza and Ukraine. He stressed that stopping the killing of innocent people is crucial to restoring normalcy and establishing peace.

Speaker of the UK’s Parliament Rt Hon Sir Lindsay Hoyle MP was the Chief Guest at the event where Leader of the House of Commons Rt Hon Penny Mordaunt MP, UK FCDO Minister for Middle East, North Africa, South Asia and United Nations Lord Tariq Ahmad, Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Steve Reed MP, and Chairman of All-party Parliamentary Group on Bangladesh Rushanara Ali MP spoke as special guests. International Affairs Adviser to  Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Dr Gawher Rizvi, Hon’ble Former Foreign Minister and Chair of the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs Dr AK Abdul Momen, MP and Hon’ble State Minister for Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employment Shofiqur Rahman Choudhury MP attended the reception.

Bangladesh High Commissioner to the UK Saida Muna Tasneem gave welcome remarks at the reception held at the historic Churchill Room of Queen Elizabeth II sited in a magnificent setting centering the British Parliament.

In his speech, Hon’ble Foreign Minister Dr Mahmud paid profound homage to Bangladesh’s Founding Father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the 3 million martyrs, and the valiant freedom fighters of the 1971 War of Liberation. He expressed his gratitude to the UK Government, its citizens, and the British-Bangladeshi diaspora for their support during Bangladesh’s War of Liberation, and pledged to elevate Bangladesh-UK historical relations to new heights under the visionary leadership of  Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

He paid tribute to British Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath, who warmly welcomed Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib as the President of independent Bangladesh at No 10 Downing Street on 8 January 1972. Minister also paid tribute to the then opposition Leader and two-time British Prime Minister Sir Harold Wilson, who welcomed Bangabandhu in London and later mourned his brutal assassination on 15 August 1975.

“Bangabandhu’s shared values of democracy, secularism and progressive aspirations with these stalwart British leaders and his special love and affection for his British Bangladeshi compatriots set the foundation of today’s Bangladesh-UK friendship”, he said.

Dr. Mahmud thanked Prime Minister Rishi Sunak for emphasizing his commitment to enhancing the economic and security partnership between Bangladesh and the UK in his congratulatory letter to Prime Minister Hasina after the national election on January 7th, 2024. He stated that Hon’ble Prime Minister Hasina remains dedicated to strengthening their robust trade, investment, aviation, climate, defence, security, and migration cooperation to the next level in her current term, as agreed upon by the two Prime Ministers in London last May.

Minister termed the UK as a true friend of Bangladesh and hoped that Bangladesh-UK friendship would continue to thrive, as they are an important partner in ensuring peace, prosperity, and security in the Bay of Bengal and a free, open, peaceful, and secure Indo-Pacific region. He also emphasized the importance of the UK’s support in the early repatriation of 1.2 million Rohingyas back to their ancestral home in Myanmar.

In his speech, he highlighted the sustained economic growth of Bangladesh over the past one and a half decades under the globally acclaimed dynamic  Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina who has leapfrogged Bangladesh from 41st to the world’s 34th largest economy- just over the past decade. Today, the world has its eyes on Bangladesh, which is set to become the 9th largest consumer market by 2030, and a tech-based ‘Smart Bangladesh’ by 2041.

Minister commended the Bangladesh High Commissioner to the UK for launching the ‘Bangabandhu-Edward Heath Friendship Award’ and the ‘Bangabandhu-Harold Wilson Friendship Award.’

Speaker of the UK’s Parliament Rt Hon Sir Lindsay Hoyle MP in his speech paid tribute to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and recalled the contribution of the British-Bangladeshis to the War of Liberation in 1971. He reaffirmed that the UK would remain a steadfast partner of Bangladesh efforts towards a developed country.

Penny Mordaunt MP commended Bangladesh’s recent progress and assured that the UK would collaborate with Bangladesh to build a better and prosperous future. He also praised the significant role of the Britis.

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