Foreign minister AK Abdul Momen on Tuesday said Bangladesh is getting geopolitical attention from different global super powers due to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s balanced foreign policy, reports news agency BSS.
“We have gained (geopolitical importance). I must thank honourable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina as many (countries) are paying attention to us due to her balanced foreign policy,” he told newspersons at the foreign ministry.
Momen made the remarks as new Chinese foreign minister Qin Gang made a stopover in Dhaka in the small hours of Tuesday amid visits of some top officials of the United States in Bangladesh.
Currently, US National Security Council’s Senior Director for South Asia Rear Admiral Eileen Laubacher and a delegation of Chinese Communist Party are visiting Bangladesh simultaneously.
Meanwhile, the Chinese foreign minister held a bilateral talk with Momen at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport making a stopover on his way to Africa while US Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu is due here next week.
I told him (Gang) ... we maintain a balanced foreign policy, so we have to walk with all (countries) ... we will extend our support to you (China) time to time
“This is good news, that we are getting enough importance from many (countries),” said the Bangladesh foreign minister.
Apart from the geopolitics, Momen said, Bangladesh has put its footprint under global spotlight as it became the 35th largest economy in the world.
“They (foreigners) realised that there are ample business opportunities in Bangladesh, no one wants to miss out,” he said, adding that Bangladesh would also like to have more engagement with all the countries.
Asked on Bangladesh’s balanced foreign policy amid tensed relations between the US and China, Momen said, “That is a challenging thing”.
However, the foreign minister said, Bangladesh has been maintaining successfully its dictum of foreign policy – friendship to all, malice towards none.
“They (the US and China) might have problems (between them) … that is their headache... we will maintain our good relations (with both the US and China)”, he said.
Regarding the upcoming visit of the US Assistant Secretary of State, Momen said, the existing bilateral relations between Dhaka and Washington is “very good”.
They (the US and China) might have problems (between them) … that is their headache... we will maintain our good relations (with both the US and China)
“We would like to further solidify it (Bangladesh-US tie),” the foreign minister added.
About his meeting with Chinese foreign minister at the airport, Momen said they had a very useful and fruitful discussion.
“Good news is that China has expressed its willingness to remain engaged with Bangladesh in our development journey. They want to work with us as a partner,” he said.
In the morning, after having the meeting, Momen told newspersons that he told his Chinese counterpart that Dhaka maintains a balanced foreign policy through engagement with all countries, including China.
“I told him (Gang) ... we maintain a balanced foreign policy, so we have to walk with all (countries) ... we will extend our support to you (China) time to time,” he said.
Momen said he raised issues of trade, investment, development projects, vaccine cooperation and Rohingya crisis during the talk with his Chinese counterpart.
“We believe in one-China (policy). This is our principle,” Momen told the Chinese foreign minister.
Raising the issue of huge trade gap between the two countries, the foreign minister urged China to implement Beijing’s decision to provide duty-free and quota-free facilities for 98 per cent Bangladeshi export products in the Chinese market.
Bangladesh foreign minister also thanked the Chinese government for its support to Bangladesh during Covid-19 pandemic.