Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said that Bangladesh gave shelter to the Rohingya community, who had fled Myanmar due to persecution by its military in 2017 and has been showing restraint during the latest spell of tension along the border.
The prime minister made the remarks on Saturday when Leader of the Opposition and Labour Party head Sir Keir Starmer paid a courtesy call on her at her place of residence in London, UNB reported.
Sheikh Hasina briefed the Labour Party leader about the growing burden on Bangladesh due to the prolonged presence of the Rohingyas and the recent armed conflicts near Bangladesh’s border.
She pointed out that Bangladesh was exercising the utmost restraint despite the spill-over of the conflict in Myanmar.
The premier also stressed the urgent need for a negotiated settlement of the Russia-Ukraine war conflict to protect the common people around the world from insecurity in food, energy, and finances.
The two leaders discussed the impact of the war in Ukraine, particularly on the Global South and various other issues.
She suggested reviewing whether the sanctions imposed in the wake of the war were having negative implications for developing countries.
According to a press release, Sheikh Hasina reiterated her profound condolences at the Queen’s demise, and Starmer thanked the prime minister for her tribute in memory of the Queen. Hasina also thanked the Labour leader for his messages on the occasions of Bangabandhu’s birth centenary and the golden jubilee of Bangladesh’s independence.
They also recalled Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s meeting and personal rapport with the former Labour prime minister Harold Wilson.
“Bangladesh and the UK are bound by excellent ties and further reinforced by the British-Bangladesh diaspora,” Starmer said.
He recalled his visit to Bangladesh in 2016 and his meeting with the prime minister at the time. He expressed satisfaction at the growing number of people of Bangladesh origin being elected to offices from the Labour Party around the UK.
He said that the Labour Party was working on promoting and nurturing young leaders to attract more British-Bangladeshi youths.
The two sides exchanged views on the possible impacts on bilateral trade relations due to ongoing inflationary pressures and cost-of-living crisis.
The Labour Party leader said they would continue to advocate for the big retailers in the UK and the West to share the costs with the readymade garment manufacturers.
Starmer appreciated Bangladesh’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic under the prime minister’s leadership. He reiterated the Labour Party’s commitment to work with vulnerable countries like Bangladesh on climate change issues.
The Bangladesh premier appreciated the widening climate partnership between the two countries.
Later, Lord Swaraj Paul of Marylebone also paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
The veteran Member of the UK House of Lords reiterated his appreciation for the prime minister’s leadership.
He expressed interest in further promoting business and education partnerships between the two countries.
The prime minister is in London on a four-day visit to attend the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II on September 19. Subsequently, Sheikh Hasina will fly to New York to attend the UN General Assembly.