Lord Ahmed said that Bangladesh and the UK would continue to work together on shared priorities, including trade, climate, defence and Commonwealth.

State minister for foreign affairs Md Shahriar Alam virtually attended the event from Bangladesh as the chief guest while Lord Ahmed was the guest of honour.

Alam said Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s official meeting at the 10 Downing Street on 8 January followed by the UK’s recognition on 4 February in 1972 was a major geopolitical development during the height of the cold war, which encouraged other Western nations to recognise Bangladesh.

"The UK has steadfastly stood by Bangladesh starting from our War of Liberation in 1971 to prime minister Sheikh Hasina's relentless efforts to leapfrog Bangladesh into Asia's fastest-growing economy till date," he said.

While presiding over the hybrid event Bangladesh high commissioner to the UK and Ireland Saida Muna Tasneem said the UK assumes a special place and appreciation in the foreign policy and future climate and sustainable development aspirations of prime minister Sheikh Hasina.

"Bangladesh's geostrategic importance in the Bay of Bengal and in the Indian Ocean complemented by its growing economic prosperity over the past decade makes it a deserving candidate to become global Britain’s trusted friend and ally in realising the region’s sustainable peace, security and prosperity," she said.

Referring to the bilateral meeting between Sheikh Hasina and Boris Johnson in November last year, the envoy said that the Bangladesh high commission would continue to work closely with the UK government to realise the shared visions and priorities set by the two leaders.

The priorities are to advance bilateral cooperation in trade and investment, climate change, defence and security and diaspora engagement in the coming decades, she added.

Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Bangladesh and UK’s Trade envoy for Bangladesh Rushanara Ali, Confederation of British Industry president Lord Karan Bilimoria, Conservative Friend of India’s Patron and vice-chair of All-Party Parliamentary Group on Indo-pacific Lord Rami Ranger, former British high commissioner to Bangladesh Robert W Gibson, the UK’s FCDO Development director Judith Herbertson, British Council’s director for Global Network Charlie Walker, senior fellow for South Asia of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) Rahul Roy Chaudhury, organiser of Bangladesh Liberation War Overseas Freedom Movement in the UK Sultan Mahmud Sharif and eminent person from British-Bangladeshi Community Syed Sajidur Rahman Faruk also spoke among others.

The programme began with the national anthems of Bangladesh and the UK, presented by a group of British-Bangladeshi Children of Suralay Music School in cooperation with the Newham Music Department.

A documentary on Bangladesh-UK friendship, produced by the Bangladesh high commission in London, highlighting Bangabandhu's historic visits to the UK as well as other high-level visits, was shown.

High commissioner Tasneem and UK minister Lord Ahmed simultaneously cut two cakes to celebrate 50 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Read more from Bangladesh
Post Comment