Government Policy

Bangladesh, Australia pledge to strengthen ties on 50th anniversary of relations

Bangladesh and Australia have pledged to

strengthen bonds of friendship on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of

diplomatic relations between the two friendly countries.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison

have issued separate goodwill messages on Monday highlighting the existing

strong bonds of friendship and for directions for the relationship between

the two friendly countries.

Australian High Commission here hosted a reception on Monday night marking

the occasion at the Hotel Purbani which was the inaugural location of

Australia's diplomatic mission in 1972.

During the reception, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam

and Australian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Jeremy Bruer highlighted

respective government's commitment to further foster bilateral engagement.

They reiterated the two countries cooperation on COVID-19 recovery, trade

and investment, education, technology and innovation and meaningful

partnership to face regional and global challenges such as climate change,

forced displacement and regional security.

Alam expressed gratitude for the Australia's bipartisan support for the

cause of Bangladesh's independence in 1971.

He paid deep respect to the Dutch-Australian Mr. William A S Ouderland,

who valiantly fought beside freedom fighters in Bangladesh's war of

independence and was the lone foreign national decorated with gallantry award

- Bir Protik.

He also recalled the contributions of Australians like Dr. Geofrey Davis,

Herbert Feith and Anthony Clifton to the War of Liberation in 1971.

The state minister thanked Australia for being the first country in the

developed world to recognize Bangladesh as a sovereign and independent state

on 31 January 1972.

He recalled the visit of Australian Prime Minister Gough Whitlam to

Bangladesh in January 1975 during which Father of the Nation Bangabandhu

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Prime Minister Whitlam secured an enduring

friendship between the two peoples based on shared commitment to peace,

pluralism, and dignity of people.

He also thanked Australia for its assistance in the reconstruction of the

war-ravaged Bangladesh and continued socio-economic support to us in the

following decades.

Alam stated that Bangladesh looks forward to emerging as a key partner of

Australia for the benefits of the people of the two countries and economies

as well as regional security.

Australian High Commissioner Jeremy Bruer stated that Australia also looks

forward to strengthening cooperation with Bangladesh for shared recovery from

the challenges of COVID-19 pandemic, as well as expanding business

relationship between the two countries.

He said, on this day 50 years ago Australia's Foreign Minister, Nigel

Bowen, announced that "Australia had recognised the government led by Sheikh

Mujibur Rahman as the government of the new state of Bangladesh". We're very

proud that Australia was one of the first countries in the world to recognise

Bangladesh in January, 1972.

High Commissioner Bruer and State Minister Alam unveiled a plaque

indicating the inaugural location of Australia's diplomatic mission in 1972

at the Purbani Hotel.

Bruer also presented to Alam a framed copy of the Australian Cabinet

minute dated 25 January 1972 recording the Australian Government's decision

to recognise the government of Bangladesh, and a Department of Foreign

Affairs Press Release from 31 January 1972 announcing Australia's recognition

of Bangladesh.

Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen also joined the event.

Earlier, on that day Australian High Commissioner Jeremy Bruer paid tribute

to those who gave their lives in the struggle for independence at the

National Martyrs' Memorial.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)