Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday (Sep 11) said the friendly ties between Bangladesh and France reached a new dimension as she delivered her statement in a joint press briefing after the bilateral meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron. "The friendly ties that my father, the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman initiated in 1972 have reached a new dimension," she said. Sheikh Hasina also said in her statement that "today is a historic day in our bilateral relationship between France and Bangladesh which has been evolving for more than five decades". Earlier, she had the bilateral talks with the French president at the Prime Minister's Office in Dhaka, local media reported.
The premier said she had fruitful discussions with President Macron on the entire spectrum bilateral matters in a very cordial setting. She went on saying that France expressed its reverence and support to Bangladesh's sovereign policy, independence, particularly in the context of the ongoing geopolitical instability and economic uncertainty.
"We both hope that this new strategic move between Bangladesh and France will play an effective role in establishing regional and global stability and peace," she said. The cornerstone of this new relationship is based on the constitutional and democratic continuity, development and good governance in Bangladesh over the past one and half decade, she also said.
She continued: "The government of France has expressed its satisfaction with the responsible and committed activities of the Government of Bangladesh in protecting the fundamental and human rights of its people."
The confidence of the French government in the spectacular and consistent progress of the Bangladesh's economy was greatly appreciated as well, she added.
The premier said France reiterated commitment to standing by Bangladesh people and government in the implementation of Vision-2041 by continuing privileges for Bangladesh to the trade facilitation of the European Union under GSP+ scheme. "Therefore, on behalf of the people of Bangladesh, I express sincere thanks to the French government and the people of France under the leadership of President Macron," she said.
In the talks, she said, they had detailed discussions aimed at advancing the bilateral relations between the two countries and "we were able to reach some consensus".
As a trusted development partner of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina said France has assured us of its continued cooperation in infrastructure development.
They also expressed their interest in providing advanced and specialized technical assistance in building Bangladesh's strategic security infrastructure, she said. As leading and responsible resident powers in the Asia and Pacific, Bangladesh and France will act to ensure geopolitical stability of the region, she also said.
"We welcome France's leadership in combating the negative effects of climate change and laud President Macron's call for establishing a sustainable fund," she continued. In addition, she said there have been effective discussions with France on educational, cultural and linguistic exchanges in the meeting.
At the outset, the premier extended her sincere greetings and thanks to President Macron and the esteemed members of the French delegation visiting Bangladesh. Sheikh Hasina, as well, extended her best wishes to the government of France and the people of France and wished for the further prosperity of the friendly relations between the two countries.
Earlier, on his arrival at the PMO at 10:20 a.m., the French president was received by the Bangladesh premier with a flower bouquet at the tiger gate.
The two leaders later held the bilateral meeting after having a Tete-a-Tete.
Sheikh Hasina and Emmanuel Macron also took part in a photo session before the bilateral meeting. Two instruments were signed in presence of the two leaders.
Macron arrived in Dhaka on Sunday evening on a two-day official visit to Bangladesh after attending the G-20 Summit in New Delhi, India. This is Macron's first visit to Bangladesh and second visit of any French President as former President Mitterrand had a tour to Bangladesh on Feb 20-24 in 1990.
The French President is scheduled to leave Dhaka for Paris on Monday afternoon.