PM urges UK to withdraw embargo on cargo operation

DHAKA, Mar 4, 2017 (BSS) - Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today urged the British government to withdraw its temporary embargo on cargo flight operations from Dhaka on security grounds as visiting British minister Alok Sharma called on her.

"Security lapses are global phenomenon . . . such lapses were detected in Heathrow Airport as well," Prime Minister's Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim quoted her as telling Sharma, the UK's minister for Asia and Pacific as he made a courtesy call on her at her Gonobhaban residence.

The premier, he said, also described how the embargo caused a setback for Bangladesh businesses and its business community in Britain.

"They discussed several issues relating to mutual interests particularly on cooperation in the areas of airport security and infrastructure development," Karim said.

Sharma, on the other hand, he said, told the premier that experts of the two countries would sit together to settle the issue of cargo flight resumption from Dhaka to UK.

The British government in March last year imposed restrictions on cargo flights from Dhaka to UK until further order on ground of security lapses.

The premier, he said, raised the Rohingha issue and sought supports of the international community and particularly of British for its resolution and for the refugees' temporary relocation in a safe and hygienic environment.

Sheikh Hasina informed Sharma that as many as four lakh documented and undocumented Myanmar nationals were now living in Bangladesh in an inhumane condition prompting her government to plan for their relocation to a environmentally sound zone.

"International community should come forward to extend support to resolve the problem," the premier said.

She reiterated her government's steadfast "zero tolerance" stance against terrorism saying by now it proved its ability to effectively combat the militants particularly after the July 1, 2016 atack on a Dhaka caf,.

"The supplier of the arms and ammunition to the terrorists of Holy Artisan has already been arrested," she noted.

The press secretary said the premier and the British minister expressed profound satisfaction over excellent bilateral relations between the two countries, expecting the ties to be strengthened more in coming days.

PM's international affairs advisor Professor Dr Gowher Rizvi, principal secretary Dr Kamal Abdul Naser Chowdhury, Bangladesh High Commissioner to Britain Md. Nazmul Quaunine and British High Commissioner in Dhaka Alison Blake were present.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)