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Russia assures Bangladesh of support to resolve Rohingya crisis

  • Published at 03:04 pm April 2nd, 2018
  • Last updated at 06:41 pm April 2nd, 2018
Russia assures Bangladesh of support to resolve Rohingya crisis
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Monday assured Bangladesh of providing assistance with the Rohingya issue. The assurance came when he held official talks with Bangladesh Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali in Moscow in the morning, said a Bangladesh foreign ministry press release. This is AH Mahmood Ali’s second official visit to Moscow in two consecutive years at the invitation of the Russian foreign minister. At a press briefing held in the Osovnyak Palace of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Minister Mahmood praised the economic progress of both countries and deeply appreciated Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and President Vladimir Putin for their farsightedness and charismatic role in global development and prosperity. The Bangladesh foreign minister also conveyed congratulations to his counterpart for the landslide victory of Vladimir Putin in the recently held Presidential Election, and extended invitations to both the Russian president and Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev to visit Bangladesh He reiterated the strong admiration of the people of Bangladesh for the Russian Federation because of the valued support and contribution received from the people of the then Soviet Union during the Liberation War of 1971 and for assistance with rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts after independence. The Bangladesh foreign minister further recalled that bilateral relations between Russia and Bangladesh started with the historic visit of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to the then Soviet Union, and then described the recent graduation of Bangladesh from LDC status to the category of developing country under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
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AH Mahmood Ali also stressed that the pace of economic and social development of Bangladesh may be hampered by the arrival of the displaced Rohingya people from Myanmar. He informed his Russian counterpart how Bangladesh was doing everything in its capacity to assist Rohingyas from Myanmar on humanitarian grounds, at great financial, social and environmental cost. He apprised Lavrov of the latest developments and measures taken by Bangladesh for the rehabilitation of the Myanmar nationals, and sought the active cooperation of the Russian Federation and all others for resolving the issue. Lavrov praised the efforts of Bangladesh, and considered the recent engagements of Myanmar and the proposed inclusion of UN agencies and UNHCR in the rehabilitation arrangement as good signs towards resolving the problem. He also assured of possible assistance from Russia in this regard. Furthermore, both the ministers expressed deep satisfaction at the pace of progress of the project for the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant under the state export credit extended by Russia. The Russian foreign minister assured Bangladesh of the timely completion of the project and the training of essential scientific and technical personnel. They also expressed their satisfaction over the successful operations of Gazprom in different gas fields of Bangladesh, and the Russian side reassured the engagement of Gazprom for further engagements in the energy sector. Regarding the important “Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic and Scientific & Technical Cooperation,” both the ministers agreed to determine a date and venue of the first meeting of the Commission. In the meeting, the upward trend of two-way bilateral trade between Russia and Bangladesh was underscored, standing at an all time high of $1.64 billion. Foreign Minister Mahmood urged for Duty Free/Quota Free access of Bangladeshi products into the Russian market, and his Russian counterpart recommended approaching the issue through the platform of the Eurasian Economic Union. An MoU on general cooperation between the Bangladesh Government and the Eurasian Economic Commission is to be signed soon. They also exchanged opinions and experiences on cooperation in different international and regional forums, and on the strong defence ties existing between Bangladesh and Russia. They discussed current and possible future cooperation on issues such as human rights, poverty alleviation, culture and import of agricultural products and the fight against cyber-crime, terrorism and violent extremism. Lavrov mentioned that during the forthcoming OIC-CFM, Russia will be represented by their Deputy foreign minister. The meeting was followed by a press briefing.
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