Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has sought support from Cambodia for a durable solution to the Rohingya crisis as it threatens the peace and stability of this region.
"As we continue our bilateral negotiations with Myanmar for Rohingyas' safe return to their homeland, I requested Prime Minister Hun Sen for his support for a durable solution to the crisis," she said.
Sheikh Hasina was delivering her joint press statement with the Cambodian prime minister at the Peace Palace on Monday after the official talks between the two countries.
Hasina said they, during the talks, discussed some of the emerging security challenges facing the region and expressed their common resolve to fight terrorism and extremism.
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"We've also discussed the Rohingya crisis that threatens peace and stability of our region. Bangladesh continues to shelter more than 1 million Rohingyas, among them around 700,000 Rohingyas fled atrocity in Myanmar and took shelter in Bangladesh recently," she added.
Describing Cambodia as a close regional neighbour of Bangladesh, Hasina said the two countries share common aspirations to promote peace, security and development. "We cooperate closely in many regional and global fora, including at ARF, ASEM, ACD and the UN."
She said her visit to Cambodia has been extremely fruitful as Prime Minister Hun Sen and she remain committed to taking Bangladesh-Cambodia relations to all new heights and dimensions.
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Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina calls on her her Cambodian counterpart Hun Sen at the latter's office in Phonm Phen on Monday, December 4, 2017 PID
The prime minister commended her Cambodian counterpart Hun Sen for the robust growth and development of Cambodia.
Hasina said a major focus for Bangladesh this time was on intensifying trade, economic and technical cooperation. "We have signed 10 bilateral agreements and MoUs during this visit," she said.
The prime minister said Bangladesh has proposed holding the first Joint Commission to be headed by two foreign ministers in Dhaka next year.
Hasina said Bangladesh and Cambodia are also considering a proposal for opening resident diplomatic missions in each other's capital.
She said the MoUs signed on technical cooperation in the areas of labour and vocational training, ICT, fisheries and aquaculture and tourism will foster multi-dimensional cooperation.
Mentioning that regional cooperation has also received major focus in today's discussions, Hasina said she was happy to receive Prime Minister Hun Sen's assurances of support to Bangladesh's Sectoral Dialogue Partnership aspiration with Asean. "As a Ganges basin country, Bangladesh also looks forward to working with Cambodia towards our membership aspiration at the Mekong-Ganga Cooperation Forum."
She said the Bangali and the Khmer nations share ancient cultural linkages, a Sanskrit and Pali inspired script, and a common new year in the month of April.
About the Rohingya crisis, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said they, during the bilateral talks, discussed it and said it is really a burden to Bangladesh.
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Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina calls on Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni at the Royal palace in Phonm Phen on Monday, December 4, 2017 PID
"We highly appreciate Bangladesh (for giving shelter to the forcibly displaced Rohingya nationals from Myanmar) even though Bangladesh has a population of over 160 million, but Bangladesh took the refugee issue on its shoulder," he added.
Hun Sen also hoped that both Bangladesh and Myanmar will work together smoothly for the safe return of the refugees back to Myanmar.
The Cambodian prime minister said: "In the bilateral discussions, we've a very fruitful result in which we're looking forward to working together for prosperity."
He said Cambodia supports the request from Bangladesh to be the sectoral dialogue partner of Asean while Cambodia will also work to achieve this goal.
Hun Sen expressed his heartfelt thanks for all the support that Bangladesh extended to the people of Cambodia.
He also noted that through this 2nd official visit of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to Cambodia after her first one in 2001, the bilateral relations of the two countries will further be strengthened.
The Cambodian prime minister also expressed his gratefulness to Sheikh Hasina for inviting him to visit Bangladesh again saying, "I accepted it with pleasure."