Bangladesh yesterday sought Vietnam's support for a peaceful solution to the Rohingya crisis as Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina held official talks with visiting Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang.
“We have discussed the Rohingya crisis that threatens peace and stability of our region. I sought Vietnam's support for a peaceful solution to the problem,” she said.
The two countries issued a joint press statement after the meeting at the Prime Minister's Office in the morning, reports BSS.
Hasina said President Quang expressed his support for a viable and long-term solution to the problem.
The two countries agreed on holding the second Foreign Office Consultation and the second meeting of the Joint Committee on Trade this year to boost bilateral cooperation initiatives, the PM added.
“We are also happy that MoUs in areas of fisheries and livestock, machinery manufacturing and cultural exchange programmes have been signed, which will strengthen bilateral cooperation.”
Meanwhile, the two countries signed three memorandums of understanding (MoUs) after the official talks. The deals are aimed at promoting bilateral cooperation in the areas of fisheries and livestock, industries and cultural exchange, reports UNB.
Hasina in the press statement said her government was keen to institutionalise political, trade and economic partnerships with the Asean countries as well as to join the Mekong-Ganga Cooperation Forum.
She sought Vietnam's support for Bangladesh to become “Sectoral Dialogue Partner” of Asean and also for Dhaka's joining the Mekong-Ganga Cooperation.
The PM said she conveyed to President Quang that Bangladesh believes in maintaining peace, stability and the rule-based order for seas and oceans, including safety and freedom of navigation and over flight, in line with international laws.
“We support peaceful settlement of all international disputes, including territorial and maritime disputes, in accordance with international laws, including the 1982 Convention on the Law of the Sea [UNCLOS].”
She thanked the Vietnam president for bringing with him a business delegation who would discuss with their Bangladeshi counterparts about ways to boost trade and investment.
She said Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the great leader of Vietnam Ho Chi Minh had dedicated their lives for the independence of their people.
“The struggle of Vietnamese against oppressive forces inspired Bangladesh in its war of independence. As a student leader, I myself led and participated in protest rallies against Vietnam War in late 60s... I can still recall the vivid memories of those days.”
The premier hoped President Quang's visit would take Bangladesh-Vietnam relations to a new height.
The Vietnamese president said he and the Bangladesh prime minister held “open and sincere” talks on the bilateral relations as well as on regional and international issues.
On politics and diplomacy, President Quang said the two countries agreed to increase exchanges of delegations at higher levels as well as hold bilateral meetings and contacts on the sidelines of multilateral conferences.
About defence and security cooperation, the president said they agreed to explore cooperation on each other's needs and capabilities and to step up cooperation in participation at peacekeeping operations.
The two countries were ready to receive military cadets for language studies and specialised programmes, he added.
Quang said both sides agreed to boost exchange of information on crimes and terrorism to ensure security in both the countries and in the region.
The two countries agreed to encourage and widen business activities, study and tap into each other's potentials, added the president.
In this regard, he mentioned that Dhaka and Hanoi would facilitate bilateral trade and look into other potential areas. The two countries would facilitate greater access to information and trade connectivity for the business community.
He said they stressed the need for using technologies in production, cultivation and preservation to increase value of exports of both the countries and protect them from trade barriers when exported to third countries.
About training, culture and tourism, the president said Hanoi would welcome Bangladesh to continue sending its officials to Vietnam for training, exchange their experience on public administration, economic development, agriculture, aquaculture and environmental management.
On South China Sea issue, Quang said as members of the 1982 UNCLOS, the two sides agreed to work closely to ensure freedom of navigation and peaceful settlement of all international disputes, including territorial and maritime disputes, in accordance with international laws.
The president said they agreed to ask the relevant ministries and agencies for effective implementation of deals they signed yesterday and promote more fruitful and effective growth of Bangladesh-Vietnam relations.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith, Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu, Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed, Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury, Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali, Cultural Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Noor, Fisheries and Livestock Minister Narayan Chandra Chanda, State Minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak, PM's Principal Secretary Nojibur Rahman and Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque, among others, assisted the prime minister during the talks.
THREE DEALS SIGNED
Bangladesh entered an MoU with Vietnam to promote cooperation in the field of fisheries and livestock.
Fisheries and Livestock Minister Narayan Chandra Chanda and Vietnam Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong inked the deal on behalf of their respective governments.
The MoU on machinery manufacturing cooperation was signed by Industries Secretary Mohammad Abdullah and Vietnam Vice-Minister of Industry and Trade Cao Quoc Hung.
The deal on cultural exchange programme was inked by Cultural Affairs Secretary Ibrahim Hossain Khan and Vietnam Deputy Minister for Culture, Sports and Tourism Dang Thi Bich Lien.
QUANG MEETS HAMID
President Abdul Hamid and his Vietnamese counterpart Tran Dai Quang yesterday stressed the need for taking joint initiatives by entrepreneurs to expedite bilateral trade and commerce.
The Vietnamese president paid a pre-dinner courtesy call on Hamid at the Bangabhaban in the evening, President's Press Secretary Md Joynal Abedin said after the meeting.
During the meeting, Hamid said the existing bilateral relations between the two countries were very excellent. He hoped the ties would expand further in future.
About the forced displacement of Rohingyas, who took shelter in Cox's Bazar, Hamid said it was a big challenge for Bangladesh.
He called upon Quang to play an effective role in ensuring safe, dignified and sustainable return of Rohingyas to their homeland.
The Vietnam president said his country always gives priority to the trade and investment relations with Bangladesh. He stressed the need for building more communication through air and waterways between the two countries to boost trade and commerce.
Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali, State Minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak, Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque and the Vietnamese envoy to Bangladesh were present.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain, ministers, lawmakers and senior officials joined the dinner, hosted by President Abdul Hamid.