Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina sits with British Prime Minister David Cameron, left, Chantal Compaore the First Lady of Burkina Faso, and Pakistani rights activist Malala Yousafzai, right, at the “Girl Summit 2014” at Walworth Academy in London on July 22.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina arrived in Dhaka from London after wrapping up her three-day official visit there at the invitation of her British counterpart David Cameron and Unicef Executive Director Anthony Lake.
A VVIP flight of Bangladesh national flag carrier Biman Bangladesh Airlines that took off from the Heathrow Airport carrying the prime minister and her entourage around 6:00pm landed at Dhaka at 9:17am.
She went to London on July 21 to attend the first ever Girl Summit 2014 and hold meeting with her British counterpart David William Donald Cameron.
The British prime minister while holding the meeting with his Bangladeshi counterpart at his 10 Downing Street office expressed his government's firm confidence in the present Awami League government of Bangladesh and hoped to work jointly and continuously with Bangladesh for ensuring social and economic development of the country in the years ahead.
Cameron also expressed his eagerness to come to Bangladesh to see the development of the country in the socio-economic, infrastructure and women empowerment sectors under the present government.
Welcoming her counterpart in Bangladesh, Hasina said that people of the country would surely welcome the British prime minister.
In the Girl Summit 2014 held at Walworth Academy, Sheikh Hasina expressed her belief that a bold and secular political commitment has been extremely important in tackling a socially sensitive challenge like child marriage.
She also said that poverty reduction, ensuring education and creating job opportunities can naturally reduce child marriage.
"Basically, what I feel that if poverty reduction, education and job opportunity....if we can ensure these, then naturally child marriage will be reduced. This is our opinion and we've taken all these steps to ensure that our girls should be educated properly and then they should go for jobs so that they can take their own decisions," she said.
Apart from these, Hasina also had meetings with a five-member delegation of All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG), led by Lord Sheikh, Shadow Foreign Secretary of UK Douglas Alexander, Unicef Executive Director Anthony Lake and British House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee chairman Keith Vaz.
She attended an iftar and doa mahfil arranged in her honour by the Bangladeshi expatriates in the UK at the ballroom of Hotel Hilton on the Park Lane where she remarked that BNP was trying to burn all with the fire of the inner burn of their failure and categorically said that they (BNP) would not be able to cause any harm.
"They (BNP) won't be able to cause any harm by the grace of almighty Allah and I'm giving my words. They won't be able to do anything," she said.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina led a 57-member Bangladesh delegation to the summit hosted jointly by the British government and Unicef.
This was her first visit to any European country after she won the January-5 parliamentary elections to become the prime minister for the second consecutive term.
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