Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Sunday assured local and international partners that the government remains sensitized to its obligations and responsibilities for environmental and ecological protection, and have been advancing towards fulfilling those obligations in a coordinated, decisive and phased manner. "We believe it is imperative to place ecology at the fulcrum of national, regional and global policies to combat growing threats to the world’s food, water and survival systems," he said. Momen said Bangladesh’s commitment to ecology and biodiversity protection has remained a constant in their State policy despite its resource constraints and high population density. The Foreign Minister was speaking at a policy dialogue on ‘Equity and Co-management of Baikka Beel Permanent Wetland Sanctuary’ facilitated by International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCD). FM in Kenya to attend 2nd UN-HABITAT Assembly being held in Nairobi The Foreign Minister said USAID funded Protibesh programme has been critical in promoting community-based management of the Baikka Beel, with support from the concerned government entities. It appears that there are some procedural issues concerning Baikka Beel’s management, which perhaps need to be placed in the right context, he said. "Be that as it may, the preservation and management experience with Baikka Beel is certainly an educational one for other ecologically critical areas in the country." Momen said Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had enacted the Wildlife Preservation Order as early as in 1973. Bangladesh an important political, trade, economic partner in South Asia: Belarusian FM Following his lead, he said, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s government inserted Article 18A in our Constitution, which stipulates, “The State shall endeavour to protect and improve the environment and to preserve and safeguard natural resources, biodiversity, wetlands, forests and wild life for the present and future citizens.” The Foreign Minister said they cannot achieve their goals in a month or a year, but through their sustained and focused efforts, they can indeed reach their desired objectives. "Bangladesh, as a signatory to the Ramsar Convention, remains committed to the conservation of our designated wetlands," he said. Two Ramsar sites, the Sundarbans and Tanguar Haor, have emerged as popular tourist destinations with growing public awareness about respecting their ecological fragilities. Hakaluki Haor, a biodiversity hotspot, awaits declaration as our third Ramsar site. "There should perhaps be similar consideration and initiatives with Baikka Beel in the broader context of the Hail Haor," he said. Momen said they need to approach the issue of preserving these wetlands from the long-term perspective of Prime Minister’s legacy of the Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100. Peace, tolerance keys to stability, security, Momen tells OIC CFM Speaking of wetlands, Baikka Beel permanent wetland sanctuary serves as a critical habitat for diverse flora and fauna, including several endangered species, in the larger Sylhet region, he said. "However, I understand that the existing infrastructure in Baikka Beel is inadequate to support a secure and sustainable nature tourism venture," Momen said. "It is essential that we invest in improving the infrastructure and developing facilities that cater to the needs of eco-conscious tourists," he mentioned. Simultaneously, Momen said, they must enhance the capacity of the local management bodies by formulating a long-term strategy, creating promotional materials, and providing training to eco-tour guides. He underlined the government’s unequivocal commitment to promoting nature-based solutions for preserving ecologically critical and protected areas. "As we strive to preserve the biodiversity of Baikka Beel, let us remember our responsibility to our future generations and thus unite in our efforts to forge a path towards a sustainable future for this invaluable wetland sanctuary," he said.
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen has urged the international community, including the British-Bangladeshi Diaspora to raise their voices in ensuring the voluntary, safe and sustainable repatriation of the forcibly displaced Rohingyas, temporarily sheltered in Bangladesh, to their homeland in Myanmar at an early date. He made the call when Nasim Ali OBE, Mayor of Camden of the UK , met the Foreign Minister on Tuesday afternoon at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Foreign Minister briefed the Mayor on the remarkable socio-economic progress of Bangladesh under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Also Read: Momen to attend OIC CFM in Mauritania, UN Water Conference in US Lauding the British-Bangladeshi Diaspora in the UK, both recalled their contributions into British society and economy and for being a vibrant and enterprising living bridge between our two countries over the past five decades. The Camden’s Mayor suggested for an appropriate event to recognize the high achievers of the British-Bangladesh Diaspora, particularly the elected representatives. They also discussed Bangladesh-UK cooperation on climate change.
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Saturday said Bangladesh wants to be the manufacturing hub of the world and welcomes all to be a part of the smart Bangladesh. 'We invite you to join us in our development journey for mutual benefits," he told the global participants at Bangladesh Business Summit 2023 in Dhaka. Momen said Bangladesh Business Summit is a testament to the entrepreneurial spirit of the nation, and it showcases the immense potential and opportunities that Bangladesh has to offer to the world. "We have spirit, we have the Initiatives and we can do, sky is our limit. We are committed to move Bangladesh from “Digital Bangladesh” to Smart Bangladesh," he said. To achieve the goal of Smart Bangladesh by 2041, Momen said they are creating smart labor force, smart students, smart productive capacity, smart infrastructure, smart government, smart rules and regulations and smart people. Also Read: Find ways to bring commodity prices to a normal level: PM tells business leaders "Let us continue to work together to unleash the full potential of Bangladesh and create a prosperous future for our people and the world," said the Foreign Minister. The apex trade body of the country, FBCCI, is arranging this summit on the 50th anniversary of its founding. The Bangladesh Business Summit is an excellent opportunity to showcase potential and to attract more foreign investment, Momen said. "Our country's strategic location, vibrant culture, young and resourceful people plus stable and business friendly government make us an attractive destination for investment," he said. "I repeat we have a young and educated workforce, a strong legal framework, and a government that is committed to creating an enabling environment for business to grow. Therefore, I welcome you all to invest and be a winner," Momen mentioned.
Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang expressed shock at the heavy casualties following an explosion in a commercial building in Dhaka. "I hereby extend my deep condolences to the victims and sincere sympathies to the bereaved families," he said in a message to his Bangladesh counterpart Dr AK Abdul Momen. The Chinese Foreign Minister wished the injured victims a full and quick recovery.
Argentine Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Worship Santiago Andrés Cafiero is scheduled to arrive here on a two-day visit on Monday morning to discuss trade and investment issues apart from a formal announcement over reopening of its Embassy in Dhaka. Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen will have a bilateral meeting with his Argentine counterpart at state guesthouse Jamuna on Monday evening. The meeting is likely to begin at 6pm. Momen will also host a dinner in honor of the Argentine Foreign Minister after the bilateral talks. The Argentine Embassy was previously shuttered in 1978 by the military junta that ruled over Argentina. Diplomatic operations, such as visas in order to travel, have since been handled by the Embassy in neighbouring India. Argentina says it is convenient to reopen the Embassy in accordance with foreign policy guidelines based on “political, strategic and commercial” reasons. Bilateral trade between the two countries stood around US$900 million last year, with a large trade surplus for Argentina, according to data available. Also read: Make more noises to make sure Rohingyas voices are heard: Gambian FM Apart from an announcement of re-opening of the Argentine Embassy in Dhaka, the Argentine Foreign Minister is likely to meet Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi. “There is also the possibility of signing visa exemption agreements on diplomatic and official passports, MoUs on cooperation in agriculture and diplomatic training academies of the two countries,” Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Seheli Sabrin told reporters recently. Apart from this, the two countries are working on a memorandum of understanding on football related matters, she said. Apart from the import of soybean oil and wheat from Argentina, the two sides are likely to discuss Bangladesh's inclusion in South America's powerful economic alliance Mercosur. Mercosur, or the Southern Common Market, is an economic and political bloc originally comprising Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay. The visiting team is likely to enjoy a friendly match between the two teams comprising Bangladesh's junior footballers as well as meeting with football officials. END/UNB/MK/FH
Bangladeshi FM Mehdi Hasan Parag beat Azerbaijani GM Azer Mirzoev in the sixth round match of the Paytakht Cup International Chess Festival, a category A tournament, held in the Iranian capital Tehran Tuesday. Parag played with white pieces to beat Azer. After the sixth-round matches, Bangladeshi IM Mohammad Fahad Rahman remained in the third spot with five other players, securing four and a half points. He settled for a draw with Indian IM Himal Gusain in the sixth-round match. Parag bagged four points from six encounters. Read more: Chess Olympiad: Bangladesh beat stronger Czech Republic in 3rd round
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Tuesday welcomed the proposed visit of a high-level delegation led by Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard Casaubon on March 7-9, 2023 and expressed hope that his maiden visit would infuse vigor and vitality in the bilateral relations. Momen also welcomed the announcement of the Mexican government to open their Embassy in Dhaka by 2023 which will further consolidate ties between the two countries and will boost trade and commerce, investment, exchange of visits between the businessmen, high officials and people-to-people contacts. Federico Salas Lofte, non-resident Ambassador of Mexico, Alejandro Simancas Marin, non-resident Ambassador of Cuba, Sinisa Pavic, non-resident Ambassador of Serbia and Menzie Sipho DLAMINI, non-resident High Commissioner of the Kingdom of Eswatini jointly met Foreign Minister Momen at the Foreign Service Academy on Tuesday following presentation of their Letter of Credence to the President of Bangladesh at Bangabhaban. At the outset, the Foreign Minister welcomed the non-resident Ambassadors to Bangladesh. Also Read: Mexico wants to share automobile manufacturing experience with Bangladesh, transfer technology At the joint calls on, Momen hoped that the bilateral relations among Bangladesh and the countries of accreditation would usher a new avenue during their tour of duty. Non-resident Ambassadors cordially exchanged views on bilateral and multilateral cooperation of mutual interests, including trade and investment, infrastructure development, connectivity, COVID situation and Russia-Ukraine crisis that disrupted the supply chain of wheat, fuel and edible oil and discussed ways and means to address the issue to offset the crisis. Foreign Minister Momen fondly recalled about the great Cuban Leader Fidel Castro who once compared Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman with the Himalayas. To mark the 50th Anniversary of the establishment of relations between Bangladesh and Cuba, the Cuban Ambassador handed over a congratulatory message to Momen from his Cuban counterpart. Regarding Rohingya issue, Foreign Minister Momen underlined that Bangladesh is currently hosting 1.1 million forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals who were forced to flee their ancestral land in the face of rape, violence and persecution. Also Read: Malaysian Home Minister’s visit in Feb: Bangladesh wants manpower recruitment at a reduced cost Bangladesh cannot afford to share its sovereign land any longer with its limited resource and land, he said. The Foreign Minister urged the support of the respective governments to play an active role for the early repatriation of these Rohingya people to their homeland in Myanmar with safety, security and dignity. Uncertainty and delay in their repatriation may attract them towards radicalism, trafficking, drugs smuggling and other cross border crimes which may threaten the security and stability of Bangladesh and Myanmar and beyond, he added.
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Sunday said Bangladesh will not accept those Russian ships which are under sanctions, noting that Bangladesh has developed a good relationship with the United States of America (USA). “It is surprising that Russia knowingly sent a sanctioned ship by changing its name. We did not expect it. Now, we expect that Russia will send things by non-sanctioned ships,” he told reporters at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Momen said Russia has hundreds of ships and there are 69 Russian ships which are under sanctions. Bangladesh has conveyed to the Russian side that they can send any ship except those sanctioned 69 ships carrying equipment for the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant. Momen hoped that Russia would now send non-sanctioned ships carrying required materials. Sanctioned Russian ship Sparta III (Ursa Major) was scheduled to dock at Mongla port in the southwestern part of the country at the end of December last year and unload cargo destined for the Rooppur NPP in Pabna. Also read: Bangladesh's growing economy entices US to maintain good relations: FM But the authorities denied the ship permission to dock at the port after officials got a letter from the US Embassy in Dhaka saying that the ship was on a list of Russian ships sanctioned by the US. The vessel is en route to the port of Shanghai, China, sailing at a speed of 10.4 knots and expected to arrive there on January 31, according to vesselfinder.com which provides real-time vessel data. Border Issues Responding to a question on the situation along Bangladesh-Myanmar border, the Foreign Minister said what happened in the zero line is very unfortunate. "We protect our border. We remain alert. Naturally there is panic on our side amid fighting," he said. At least one person reportedly belonging to a separatist group was killed and several others were injured in an hours-long gun battle between two armed militant forces inside Myanmar along the border with Bangladesh on Wednesday, media reported. The fighting took place near the no-man’s land at Ghumdhum-Tumbru frontline in Bangladesh’s southeastern border district of Bandarban on Wednesday. Momen said they are in discussion at various levels but they do not discuss with rebels. "We are protecting our own areas." Responding to a question, the Foreign Minister said the Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Yao Wen will meet him tomorrow (Monday) and the situation along Bangladesh-Myanmar border is likely to come up for discussion. The Foreign Minister said Bangladesh did not allow anyone to enter afresh amid conflicts on the Myanmar side. He said Bangladesh remains vigilant so that the country does not face any problem. “We want to see that this conflict is stopped. But it is up to two conflicting groups there,” Momen said, noting that there is weakness on the Myanmar side to deal with the situation. Asked whether Bangladesh will seek China’s support to keep border areas peaceful, the Foreign Minister said Bangladesh always seeks support from China as China has enough leverage on Myanmar. “We keep them informed.” The Chinese Ambassador had separate meetings with State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam and Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen on Sunday.
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen has credited Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s courage, sincerity and strong willingness for achieving a number of milestones, including the metro rail project. “It will be a historic moment for us. It’s a matter of pride and joy for us. It has been possible for our leader Sheikh Hasina’s courage, strong willingness and sincerity,” he told the reporters at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is scheduled to inaugurate the much-awaited first-ever elevated metro rail on December 28 for commercial operation. Initially, some 10-set trains with six coaches will run from Uttara to Agargaon. Read more: Dhaka Metro Rail launch: From ticketing to seating – things to know “I tell you. There had been various kinds of conspiracies (to halt the implementation of mega projects – the Padma Bridge and metro rail),” Momen said. He thanked Japan saying: “The country helped Bangladesh despite all the conspiracies and they (Japanese people) were sincere in their work. Even during the Covid-19 pandemic they kept working.” Momen said the government remains grateful to Japan for their uninterrupted support despite the Holey Artisan attack that left over 20 people, including Japanese citizens, dead. “We have created another history – the tunnel beneath the River Karnaphuli. “These (the Padma Bridge, tunnel, and metro rail) are the milestones of Bangladesh,” Momen said. Read more: PM to open 1st phase of metro rail on December 28: Quader Appreciating Hasina’s leadership and stability in the country, the foreign minister said if someone really wants to do something, they will find a way to do it, even if there are things that make it hard to do. “Good leadership and a stable government bring benefits.”
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Monday said there is nothing to worry about the security of foreign diplomats stationed in Dhaka, noting that they will be given full protection. "Our government will guarantee full protection of all diplomats," he told reporters at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. "Have you ever heard that any diplomat was killed in Bangladesh? Why do you fear?" Momen said referring to a bomb blast during BNP-Jamaat tenure when the then British high commissioner to Bangladesh Anwar Choudhury was injured. Responding to a question, Momen said he does not see any scope that the bilateral relations between Bangladesh and the USA will deteriorate due to a tiny incident. "It's a multifaceted relationship." Read more: Khosru on Shaheenbagh incident: Diplomatic corps’ security in Bangladesh ‘brought into question’ He said Bangladesh Ambassador to the USA Muhammad Imran had a prescheduled meeting which was originally scheduled to be held over the phone. Later, the meeting was held in person. The US side said they raised the December 14 incident at the "highest levels" of the Bangladesh government, as well as with the Bangladesh Embassy in Washington DC. "The ambassador (Peter Haas) is a bit panicked about his security. Our ambassador said there is no reason to get panicked," Momen said. Earlier, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan on Sunday said there had been no lack of security when US Ambassador Peter Haas visited Dhaka's Shaheenbagh area recently. While talking to reporters at the Secretariat, he said police personnel rushed to the spot immediately. Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen said the situation that US Ambassador Peter Haas faced could not be seen as a "security threat". "There is no scope to see it as a security threat," he told reporters at the Foreign Service Academy on Thursday evening, noting that the incident will have no impact on Dhaka-Washington relations. Read more: Diplomats don’t have the power to put anyone in power: Information Minister The US Embassy in Dhaka has said they take "seriously" all allegations of human rights violations and regularly meet with a wide variety of human rights organisations. "The US Embassy had not received any prior communication from 'Mayer Kanna' over the last several years," said a US Embassy spokesperson on Sunday in light of various articles and statements surrounding Ambassador Haas' meeting with Mayer Dak on December 14. Providing more information to the media in an email, the spokesperson said human rights are at the "centre" of US foreign policy. The US ambassador ended his "prescheduled" meeting with "Mayer Dak" on December 14 due to "security concerns." "The meeting was interrupted by protestors, who attempted to enter the building where the ambassador was located. Other protestors surrounded the ambassador's vehicle," said the spokesperson.