Government Policy

Working on strengthening democratic environment: PM tells Norwegian Minister

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday said her government has been working on strengthening democratic environment in the country.

She said this when visiting Norwegian Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt paid a courtesy call on her at Ganobhaban.

PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed reporters after the meeting.

Hasina said Bangladesh remains committed to building a peaceful, just and inclusive society.

“The government has been working on strengthening democratic environment and institutions in the country. The Election Commission which conducts the polls is a totally independent institution,” the PM was quoted as saying.

She said Bangladesh’s democracy suffered when the military rulers captured power. “They (the military rulers) ascended to power using guns and then descended on politics by forming political parties,” she was quoted.

At the outset of the meeting, they exchanged greetings marking the 50 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

The Norwegian minister commended Bangladesh for sheltering 1.1 million Rohingya refugees. “We know it is an economic pressure on Bangladesh,” she said.

Anniken Huitfeldt said the cooperation between the two countries will be deepened further.

Recalling the Norwegian support to Bangladesh since the 1971 Liberation War of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina said Norway came forward to support the post-independence nation-building works undertaken by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

“Norway remained our close and valued development, trade and investment partner since then,” she said.

PMO Senior Secretary Md Tofazzal Hossain Miah and Norwegian ambassador to Bangladesh Espen Rikter-Svendsen were present.