He expressed the hope and optimism that the existing excellent relations and partnership between Bangladesh and Canada will continue to flourish. "The two countries would work closely to take them to new heights in the spirit of mutual interest, friendship, and respect."

Momen said Bangladesh looks forward to closer cooperation and partnership with Canada in defence and security issues, including elimination of any kind of extremism.

"Bangladesh is also committed to deepening and expanding the trade and investment relations with Canada and would work closely for the steady growth in this sector," he mentioned.

"As we celebrate 50 years, Canada looks forward to building on our solid foundation of friendship and cooperation to strengthen and diversify our partnership," said the Canadian high commission in Dhaka in a separate message.

The foreign minister said they deeply appreciate Canada's support to the issues of the Forcibly Displaced Myanmar Nationals (FDMNs).

"Bangladesh expects Canada playing a more active role in ensuring that the perpetrators of genocide and crime against humanity in Rakhine state of Myanmar are brought to justice and a conducive environment in Rakhine state in Myanmar is created for a safe and dignified return of more than 1.1 million FDMNs (Rohingyas) from Bangladesh as soon as possible," he said.

Momen recalled the support of the Canadian people and the then Canadian government led by the former Canadian prime minister Pierre Trudeau, extended to the glorious War of Independence.

Canada was also one of the first few countries to recognise Bangladesh immediately after its independence.

"I would like to recall that the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the former prime minister Pierre Trudeau laid down the foundation of friendship between the two countries based on shared commitment to peace, pluralism, and dignity of people," said the foreign minister.

The first official visit of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujbur Rahman to Ottawa, Canada in 1973 ushered a new horizon of friendship and bonding for the people of the two countries, he said.

Since then, Momen said, the partnership has been steadily growing. "I also like to recognise Canada's valuable support to Bangladesh's membership in the Commonwealth and the United Nations after the Independence."

Momen thanked Canada for its assistance in the reconstruction of the war-ravaged Bangladesh following the recognition and valuable support in the field of socio-economic development for the development of youth and women's economic empowerment.

He said Bangladesh has now graduated as a middle-income country and the country is known as a "Development Miracle".

"In our journey through this tremendous socio-economic development under prime minister Sheikh Hasina, Canadian support has also played a useful part. Today, Canada is Bangladesh's important development partner and a trusted and tested friend," Momen mentioned.

He said Bangladesh is working closely with Canada on several important global issues, including climate change, promoting global peace and security and many others.

"We thank Canada for its appreciation for Bangladesh's contribution to the UN Peacekeeping operation," he said.

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