Dhaka, Jan 16: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday put emphasis on unity among the Muslim Ummah, saying that it should remain together.“In the event of conflict between the Muslim countries, it’s the people of those countries who suffer from it. So, if any problem arises among the Muslim Ummah, it should be resolved through discussion,” she said, BSS reports.
The prime minister expressed this view when newly-appointed Iranian Ambassador to Bangladesh Mohammad Reza Nafar paid a courtesy call on her at her office here this morning.
After the meeting, PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed reporters.
Mentioning common cultural bonds between the two countries, the prime minister said Bangladesh has adopted the foreign policy – ‘friendship to all and malice to none’.
Describing the Iranian people as courageous, Sheikh Hasina said the Iranian economy is improving significantly.
Highlighting Bangladesh’s tremendous socioeconomic development, the prime minister said her government is working hard to improve the living condition of the people. “We have reduced poverty rate to 21 percent and our development policy is rural based,” she said.
The prime minister noted the existing religious harmony in the country and said that the people of all faiths participate to any festival together.
She welcomed the Iranian envoy in Bangladesh and conveyed her regards to the Iranian president.
Sheikh Hasina also assured the new Iranian envoy of extending all kinds of cooperation from her government during his tenure in Bangladesh.
She recalled her visits to Iran in the 6th NAM Summit in 2012 and the OIC Conference in 1997.
The Iranian ambassador congratulated Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on behalf of their president on her party’s landslide victory in the December 30 general elections.
Reza Nafar described the prime minister as the wise and prudent premier of Bangladesh. “We all the people of Iran are fond of you,” he said.
The Iranian ambassador highly appreciated the prime minister’s balanced policy for the country’s socioeconomic uplift.
He congratulated Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Bangladesh’s graduation to a developing country from a least developed one.
Mentioning existing traditional religious and cultural bonds between Iran and Bangladesh, Reza Nafar said: “We will have to carry forward this relationship.”
The ambassador said the the cooperation between the two countries at the regional and international levels is good. “Political and cultural relations remain at good level,” he said.
He, however, emphasised boosting volume of trade between the countries, saying that at the moment it (trade) is not satisfactory.
The ambassador said despite Western sanction, Iran is moving forward.
“We’re working on reducing tension in the region as we are not a war-monger country,” he said.
In this connection, Reza Nafar said Iran will welcome any initiative of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to reduce tension in the region.
PM’s Principal Secretary Md Nojibur Rahman and PMO Secretary Sajjadul Hassan were present.