ʺWe would be delighted to join celebrations of50 years of the UK’s historic relations with Bangladesh including our longstanding economic and development partnership, climate co-operation and the vibrant Bangladeshi diaspora,ʺ said British Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office Permanent Under-Secretary Sir Philip Barton KCMG OBE at a bilateral meeting at the FCDO yesterday.The bilateral meeting was held between thePermanent Under-Secretary and Bangladesh High Commissioner to the UK Saida Muna Tasneem to mark 4 February, the day the UK officially recognized Bangladesh in 1972.
At the meeting, Bangladesh High Commissioner Saida Muna Tasneem said, ʺFifty years ago since the hoisting of the flag of independent Bangladesh in August 1971 at the first Bangladesh diplomatic mission in London at 24 Pembridge Gardensfollowed by the warm reception accorded to Bangladesh’s first President Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on 8 January 1972 by Prime Minister Edward Heath at No 10, Bangladesh-UK special friendship has only grown strength to strength bilaterally and multilaterally. ʺ
Recalling the visit of Prime Minister Boris Johnson to Bangladesh in 2018 and his meeting withPrime Minister Sheikh Hasina, High Commissioner Tasneem hoped that Prime Minister Boris Johnson would visit Bangladesh soon on the occasion of 50 years of Bangladesh-UK diplomatic relations.
During the meeting, British FCDO PUS and Bangladesh High Commissioner also discussed the possibility of VVIP visits between the two countries, joint events and dialogues on trade and Investment, climate partnership, and British Bangladeshi diasporaand joint exercise between the two Armed Forces on the occasion of the golden jubilee of Bangladesh’s independence and Bangladesh-UK diplomatic relations.
High Commissioner Tasneem briefed the PUS about the successes of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s Government in containing COVID pandemic in Bangladesh and the stimulus packages,as well as the rapid COVID vaccine roll out program. She also congratulated Prime Minister Boris Johnsonfor his 24/7 COVID vaccination program that so far facilitated vaccination of more than 10 million people.
PUS Sir Philip Barton was pleased to hear that the Government of Bangladesh has already procured 30 million doses of Oxford vaccine and initiated the vaccination from 27 January 2021.
Bangladesh High Commissioner also praised the British Government for its pen holding role on the Rohingya issue at the UN Security Council. PUS reaffirmed UK’s commitments to continue to support Bangladesh on the Rohingya issue.
British FCDO PUS and Bangladesh High Commissioner also discussed the possible dates of the 4th Bangladesh-UK Strategic Dialogue in London which is expected to incorporate FCDO’s new mandate on development partnership as well as trade, investment and defence cooperation.