Dhaka seeks Jakarta’s support for partnership with ASEAN

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Dhaka, Jan 29: Indonesia yesterday welcomed Bangladesh’s desire for institutionalizing relations with the ASEAN as Dhaka sought Jakarta’s support in favour of its request for Sectoral Dialogue Partnership with the regional grouping.Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina reiterated her government’s keen interest to intensify trade, economic and regional peace and security partnerships with the ASEAN countries and sought Indonesia’s support to this end, reports BSS.

The visiting Indonesian President Joko Widodo welcomed Bangladesh’s desire in this regard and encouraged Bangladesh for a more active engagement with ASEAN, according to a joint statement signed between Bangladesh and Indonesia here on sunday.

The Indonesian President arrived here on saturday on a two-day state visit at the invitation of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

President Widodo appreciated Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for sheltering over a million displaced persons from Rakhine State and reiterated his country’s support for safe, dignified return of the displaced persons to the Rakhine State.

The Bangladesh Premier also lauded Indonesia’s supportive role, including the humanitarian assistance for the displaced Rohingys from Rakhine State.

Sheikh Hasina recalled the atrocities Bangladesh endured in the War of Liberation in 1971 and mentioned the resolution adopted by the Bangladesh Parliament declaring 25 March as the ‘Genocide Day’.

Lauding the existing socio-economic development of Bangladesh under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the Indonesian President expressed confidence that Bangladesh would graduate to a middle income country by 2021.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina appreciated President Widodo’s pro-people leadership and various initiatives for achieving welfare-oriented economic development in Indonesia and noted with appreciation Indonesia’s constructive role in the ASEAN and the OIC.

Reiterating that Bangladesh-Indonesia relationship is rooted in the shared historic, religious, cultural and linguistic heritage of the two nations, they agreed to further strengthen the bilateral relations to achieve shared prosperity through mutually beneficial partnership.

President Widodo and Prime Minister Hasina welcomed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on Foreign Office Consultations between the two countries and agreed to hold the 3rd Meeting of the Joint Commission in 2018 in Dhaka.

Both the leaders also expressed satisfaction about the discussion on the commercial deal for sales-purchase between Petro Bangla of Bangladesh and Pertamina of Indonesia for importing LNG and agreed to further widen and deepen cooperation in the energy sector.

Both the leaders welcomed the Joint Statement by the Minister of Trade of Indonesia and the Minister of Commerce of Bangladesh to commence the process of bilateral trade negotiation.

They recognized the need for collaboration between the private sectors of the two countries for availing opportunities of investment in both the countries.

Recognizing the potential for cooperation in maritime affairs and blue economy, they agreed to work together to explore new areas and innovative means through bilateral and multilateral initiatives.

They welcomed signing of a Joint Communique on Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (IUUF).

Both the leaders stressed the need to enhance air connectivity to promote people-to-people contact, tourism and trade and agreed to work to further widen cooperation in the areas of Agriculture, ICT, Defence and tourism.

Recognizing the threats arising out of terrorism, violent extremism and radicalization on any religious or societal pretext, the leaders agreed to work together to counter all such challenges in both countries and beyond.

Both leaders recalled the association between Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the Founding Father of Indonesia President Soekarno particularly in the NAM.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina conveyed appreciation and gratitude for the support extended by the people and the government of Indonesia during the War of Independence of Bangladesh in 1971 and Indonesia’s early recognition to Bangladesh on February 25, 1972.

President Widodo appreciated the warm hospitality and courtesies extended to him and his delegation by the government and the people of Bangladesh during the visit.

He invited the President and the Prime Minister of Bangladesh to visit Indonesia at a mutually convenient time, the joint statement said.