Medical &Health

PM seeks global support to shift Myanmar refugees

MUNICH, Germany- Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has sought support of international community to arrange temporary accommodation for Myanmar refugees in a healthy and safe environment in Bangladesh.

The Prime Minister said this in a luncheon meeting with German Chancellor Angel Merkel on the sidelines of the 53rd Munich Security Conference at Hotel Bayerrischer Hof here today.

Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh has taken the issue of extruded Myanmar citizens from humanitarian point of view. But their stay and activities in Cox's Bazar, an important tourist town, is causing destruction of environment, sanitation system, landscape and nature, forcing them to live in an inhuman condition.

"So Bangladesh government wants to shift them to an open and healthy areas by providing all the civic facilities," she said seeking support of Germany and other countries in this regard.

In their hour-long meeting, they discussed various issues relating to mutual interests including the ways of boosting relations between the two countries in the areas of trade and business, development and refugee issues, PM's press secretary Ehsanul Karim said while briefing reporters after the meeting.

The Prime Minister informed the German Chancellor about the socioeconomic progress of the country in different areas particularly in gender parity, women empowerment and poverty reduction, the press secretary said.

After the meeting Bangladesh and Germany signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on upgrading current machine readable passport system of Bangladesh and a Joint Declaration of Intent (JDI) on political exchange on counter terrorism.

Recalling the support of the German government and its people to the War of Liberation of Bangladesh in 1971, the Prime Minister, at the beginning of the very cordial meeting, extended thanks to Angel Merkel for standing beside Bangladesh people in their hard time.

Since independence, Bangladesh has come a long way making significant progress in the areas like poverty alleviation, attaining food security, improving health and sanitation, gender parity and women development, the Prime Minister informed the Chancellor.

Sheikh Hasina invited Angela Merkel to visit Bangladesh which she cordially accepted and hoped to visit Bangladesh in a mutually convenient time, the press secretary said.

Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali, Principal Secretary Dr Kamal Abdul Naser Chowdhury, Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque, Home Secretary Dr Kamal Uddin Ahmed and Bangladesh Ambassador to Germany Imtiaz Ahmed were present.

Pointing out her government's initiative to set up 100 economic zones in Bangladesh, the Prime Minister invited the German companies to take advantage of these new economic opportunities through building new business partnerships with Bangladesh.

The Prime Minister also highlighted the initiatives taken by her government for welfare of the labours and allowing trade union activities in the Export Processing Zones.

German Chancellor appreciated Bangladesh's advancement in socioeconomic areas hoping the excellent relations between the two countries in many areas would be stronger in the coming days.

Under the MoU signed between the two countries, Germany would supply approximately five million ePassports to Bangladesh while under the JDI, the countries would undertake programmes to prevent and counter violent extremism and conduct bilateral political exchange on counter terrorism issues.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina arrived here on Friday on a three-day official visit to Germany to attend the 53rd Munich Security Conference (MSC).

After wrapping up the tour, she will leave Munich International Airport for Dhaka at 9.45 pm local time today and is expected to reach Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at 8 pm on Sunday after making over a six-hour stopover in Abu Dhabi.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)