Foreign Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud on Monday said Bangladesh and Canada are willing to expand the existing multiple engagements between the two countries exploring the areas for further collaboration.
ÒWe have excellent relations with Canada. We have multiple engagements with Canada. They (Canada) want to widen and expand these engagements,Ó he told reporters after his meeting with Canadian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Lilly Nicholls.
Talking to reporters separately, the High Commissioner said they had a Òproductive first discussionÓ about their ÒmultifacetedÓ and longstanding relationship, reports UNB.
ÒWith strong people to people ties, a growing commercial relationship and an evolving development programme, there are many areas for potential collaboration, benefiting the citizens of both our countries,Ó she said in a brief statement.
During the meeting, she said they also discussed the importance of media freedom, civil society and alternative voices in a healthy democracy.
The High Commissioner reiterated CanadaÕs continued commitment to responding to the Rohingya crisis.
On human rights issues, he said human rights are a global issue and this is an issue in America, Europe and also an issue in Canada. ÒWe remain engaged.Ó
ÒWe discussed the issues of democracy as we have to make democracy healthier. We value the opinion of our friendly countries,Ó said the Foreign Minister, while responding to a question.
ÒThere are many areas for potential collaboration, benefiting the citizens of both our countries,Ó said the High Commissioner.
The Foreign Minister discussed ways to send back the killer of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Noor Chowdhury to execute the court verdict at home.
Responding to a question, he said the High Commissioner is not the authority to decide but she will communicate DhakaÕs request with her government.
They spoke about the special relationship between the two countries and ways to further strengthen the long-standing relations.
“We have a long-standing and a multifaceted relationship, which has many dimensions,” said the High Commissioner.
“And we also, of course, spoke about the evolving Development Partnership and how each of these offers many opportunities for joint collaboration between our two countries,” said the envoy.
As good friends, the High Commissioner said they also spoke very openly about the importance of freedom of expression, the tremendous value of civil society, and a vibrant civil society.
“We spoke about the importance of alternative voices and perspectives,” she said.
The High Commissioner also took the opportunity to speak with the foreign minister to thank Bangladesh for hosting the Rohingya people.
“And it was my opportunity also to reiterate Canada’s continued support for the Rohingya response,” she said