Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today reaffirmed Bangladesh's unequivocal support for the rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination and independence.
"Bangladesh always supports the cause of Palestine and it will continue to do so," she said.
The premier made the comments when Palestinian Foreign Minister Dr. Riad N. A. Malki paid a courtesy call on her at her official Ganabhaban residence here this evening.
After the meeting PM's press secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed reporters.
Sheikh Hasina also said the Palestinians have a "special place in our hearts".
Dr Malki highly lauded Bangladesh's strong support to Palestine, saying that: "You (Sheikh Hasina) are always vocal against Israeli atrocities in our country."
"We are happy that Bangladesh always extends strong support to us," he added.
In this connection, the prime minister said she always raised voice when the Palestinian women and children were killed by the Israeli occupation forces.
During the meeting, the Palestinian foreign minister presented some copies of book -Unfinished Memoirs of Bangabandhu - translated in Arabic to the prime minister.
Dr Malki said they have published the books in Arabic and are distributing books to other Arab countries. "We have also requested other Arab nations to publish the book. "If necessary we could supply the books," he said.
The premier later handed over a book with autograph to the Palestinian foreign minister for their President Mahmud Abbas. She also presented a book with autograph to Dr Malki.
The Palestinian foreign minister paid rich tributes to Bangabandhu and said the people of his country hold the great leader in high esteem. "What Bangabandhu done for the people is unique," he said.
The Palestinian foreign minister also recalled Bangabandhu's special friendship with Palestinian legendary leader Yasir Arafat. "It was special friendship and now it's our responsibility to take care and protect this relationship," he said.
Remembering her maiden meeting with Yasir Arafat at a conference, the prime minister said at that time, the Palestinian leader had told her: "You are the daughter of Sheikh Mujib."
The Palestinian foreign minister put emphasis on cooperation between the two countries on agriculture sector.
He also highly appreciated the training being provided to the Palestinian armed forces personnel in Bangladesh. "It's very good and standard training," he remarked.
PM's Military Secretary Major General Mia Mohammad Jainul Abedin and PMO Secretary Suraiya Begum were present on the occasion.
Earlier, outgoing Spanish Ambassador in Dhaka Eduardo de Laiglesia Del Rosal called on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at Ganabhaban.
At the meeting, the prime minister said her government has made open the private sector for accelerating the economic development in the country.
In this regard, she mentioned there are 23 private television channels in the country, while more are awaiting to start their operation.
The Spanish ambassador highly praised existing press freedom in Bangladesh, saying the country has very vibrant press and mass media.
He paid deep homage to Bangabandhu and wanted to know from the prime minister about the jail life of the Father of the Nation.
In reply, Sheikh Hasina, the elder daughter of Bangabandhu, said the Father of the Nation had to spend jail years after years for establishing rights of the people.
The premier also mentioned her own sufferings after brutal assassination of Bangabandhu in 1975 and said she and her sister had been in exile for six years as the military dictator General Ziaur Rahman did not allow them to return home.
"We were also barred to enter the historic Dhanmondi 32 No. house after our return from exile," she said.
The Spanish envoy informed Sheikh Hasina that they are going to publish the book "The Unfinished Memoirs of Bangabandhu" in Spanish language.
Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)