Hasina seeks French cooperation to sustain development

Rohingyas must be repatriated, PM tells French envoy


BSS photo

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has sought cooperation from the development partners, including France, to sustain the ongoing development activities in Bangladesh.

"We need cooperation from the development partners including France, to make the development of Bangladesh sustainable as we have to go long way," she said when French Ambassador to Bangladesh Marie Masdupuy called on her at the Ganabhaban on Tuesday.

PM's speech writer M Nazrul Islam briefed newsmen after the meeting.

The Prime Minister said once Bangladesh was known as a country of poverty, flood and drought, but it has now transformed into a developing nation with a huge development.

"Today's Bangladesh is totally a different country with huge development activities being carried out at the grassroots" she said.

She said that every village of the country has been illuminated with electricity and connected with communication network.

"The rural areas have changed a lot while poverty has reduced significantly," Hasina said.

Sheikh Hasina said the government has planned to build flats in rural areas for the poor people.

On the Rohingya issue, the Prime Minister said that the forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals must be repatriated to their homeland.

"They are involving in various criminal acts like drug, arms and human trafficking here," she said.

The prime minister urged the western countries including France to mount more pressure for the quick repatriation of the Rohingyas.

About stranded Pakistanis in Bangladesh, she said that their fourth generation is living here.

"It does not seem that Pakistan will take them back anymore. We are planning to build flats for them to ensure their permanent rehabilitation here," she said.

She requested the French Gas Company to invest in Bangladesh gas sector and for gas exploration.

They also discussed some bilateral issues including Airbus purchase and launching of Bangabandhu Satellite-II.

French Ambassador Marie Masdupuy handed over a congratulatory message of French President Emmanuel Macron for being reelected as the prime minister through the last parliamentary election held on January 7.

She said that France and Bangladesh have excellent bilateral relations, referring to the Bangladesh premier's visit to France in 2021 and French President Emmanuel Macron's visit to Bangladesh in 2023.

"These visits have further strengthened the relations between the two countries," she said.

About climate issue, the French envoy said that her country helps Bangladesh get the loss and damage fund, adding that they want to see Bangladesh as the pioneer in utilising the fund.

She mentioned that Bangladesh is an example in facing climate change.

The ambassador said that France wants to assist Bangladesh in green energy transition.

She  also said that her country wants to cooperate Bangladesh in blue economy and cyber security.

PM's Adviser Salman Fazlur Rahman, Ambassador-at- Large M Ziauddin and Principal Secretary M Tofazzel Hossain Miah were present.

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