Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday urged Singapore to request Myanmar to resolve the Rohingya crisis quickly as it is a big problem and burden on Bangladesh.
She made the call during her meetings with Singapore President Halimah Yacob and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the Istana, the office of the president of Singapore.
Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque briefed reporters after the meetings, reports UNB.
As Singapore and Myanmar are the chair and member of the Asean respectively, the country can make the Myanmar government understand that the region's stability and development depend on the repatriation of Rohingyas, Hasina told the Singaporean leaders.
Mentioning that Bangladesh has already signed an agreement with Myanmar on the repatriation of Rohingyas, the PM said the implementation of the agreement was being delayed for many reasons.
“The prime minister told Singapore to request Myanmar in this regard and the Singaporean side responded very sympathetically,” Shahidul said.
Hasina said Bangladesh continues to shelter more than one million Rohingyas. Of them, some seven lakh have recently taken shelter in Bangladesh fleeing persecution in Myanmar's Rakhine State.
The Singaporean president praised Hasina for her leadership, particularly in women's emancipation and gender issue.
The foreign secretary said it has become clear through the discussion between the Bangladesh PM and the Singaporean president that the main basis of Bangladesh- Singapore relations is economic collaboration -- trade, business and investment.
At both the meetings, Hasina said seafarers were facing problems for movement in Singapore and urged the Singapore government to solve those.
The Singaporean president and its premier said they would consider the matter.
Hasina showed interest in getting Singaporean investment in food and fish processing, energy and energy-related sectors in Bangladesh.
The Singaporean prime minister expressed interest in investing in Bangladesh's special economic zones.
The Bangladesh PM sought Singapore's assistance in developing a deep seaport and make it operational.
Bangladesh also sought Singapore's support in favour of its initiative to be “Sectoral Dialogue Partner” of Asean. Singapore, however, said there was an embargo on it and the country would extend support to Bangladesh once the embargo is lifted.
About bilateral trade, Bangladesh said there was a trade imbalance against it, and the Singaporean business community should invest heavily in Bangladesh to address the issue.
Hasina invited the Singaporean president and the PM to visit Bangladesh this year and both of them accepted the invitations.
The Bangladesh premier arrived in Singapore on Sunday afternoon on a four-day official visit to Singapore.
TWO MOUs SIGNED
Bangladesh and Singapore yesterday signed two memorandums of understanding (MoUs) for collaboration in Public Private Partnership (PPP) and air services.
The deals were signed following the official meeting between the prime ministers of the two countries at the Istana.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Singaporean counterpart Lee Hsien Loong witnessed the signing ceremony.
PM VISITS PORT
Sheikh Hasina yesterday visited the Port of Singapore, one of the busiest ports in the world, reports BSS.
“The prime minister visited the port here this [yesterday] afternoon and witnessed its automation activities,” PM's Press Secretary Ihsanu Karim said.
The port officials apprised the premier of its activities and expressed their interest in helping the Chittagong Port for automation, he added.