Pursuing a vigorous economical diplomacy Bangladesh would cultivate more effective relationship with India and China said the newly appointed Foreign Minister AbulKalam Abdul Momen on Tuesday. Momen who is 71 years old also said that he is directed by the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to intensify cooperation with the neighbours on the basis of “solid partnership” and to ensure that the foreign office works as a partner of the other ministries to draw more foreign investments in the country.
“My main focus will be to pursue a vigorous economic diplomacy with all major countries and particularly with the neighbours,” Momen told PTI in an interview a day after assuming the office, indicating that the new government wants to reap the benefit of the friendships with both India and China. An economist by background, Momen said his office would effectively do its part to elevate the country’s status as a higher middle income by 2021 as envisaged by the premier and draw the required foreign assistance in implementing the government’s ambitious development plans.
Momen said that the intense relationship with neighbours like India and China would remain as a major policy while he would try his best to cultivate more effective ties with all major foreign nations like the US, the UK and France keeping Bangladesh’s integrity intact. Also added that, in no time in the recent history, our relations with India was so good. We will maintain it and rather take it to another level.
Bangladesh’s ties with India grew steadily last year, with level of visits from both the sides. Prime Minister Hasina visited India in May last during which she held talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The last few years have been a “golden chapter” in India-Bangladesh relationship when complicated issues of land and coastal boundaries were resolved, Modi said at the time. During 2018, the two countries launched many development cooperation projects, including the construction of the Akhaura-Agartala rail line and the restoration of Kulaura-Shahbazpur section of railway line.
Asked about major challenges, Momen referred to the Rohingya crisis and preferred to call it “an economic issue” but feared it could affect the regional stability unless addressed through a consorted effort involving nations in the neighbourhood. The issue needs to be solved as soon as possible otherwise it would affect stability of the entire region.