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PM urges int’l community, meets German chancellor in Munich

Unb, Munich, Germany
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday sought support from the international community, including Germany, to temporarily relocate Myanmar nationals living in Bangladesh to Thengar Char in Noakhali for providing them with all facilities.

She said this when German Chancellor Angela Merkel wanted to know about the present situation of the Myanmar nationals during a bilateral meeting with her at Hotel Bayerischer in Munich.

The PM informed the German chancellor that the Myanmar citizens were currently leading a miserable life in Cox’s Bazar and its adjacent areas without any proper civic amenities, including sanitation, PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim told reporters after the meeting, reports UNB.

“That’s why the government wants to temporarily relocate them to another place to provide them with better facilities,” Ihsanul quoted the premier as saying.

Hasina said a large number of Myanmar nationals, who entered Bangladesh illegally, were staying in Cox’s Bazar which is a tourist spot. “This largely affected the environment of the area and the country’s tourism sector,” she added.

State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam recently announced that the Myanmar refugees would be temporarily rehabilitated as they would be repatriated to Myanmar.

Some 70,000 Myanmar nationals have taken refuge in Cox’s Bazar camps since October last year after being persecuted by the Myanmar military.

Hasina during the meeting reiterated her government’s “zero tolerance” policy against terrorism and militancy.

She mentioned that her government was working to set up 100 special economic zones to speed up industrialisation as well as to establish hi-tech parks. She said German companies could take the advantage of the project and set up new businesses there.

She apprised the German chancellor of the country’s various achievements, particularly in the areas of education, poverty reduction, gender parity and women empowerment.

Recalling with deep gratitude the contributions and support of Germany during the Liberation War in 1971, Hasina said Germany is a time-tested friend of Bangladesh.

She invited Merkel to visit Bangladesh. The German leader said she would visit Dhaka at a mutually convenient time.

The chancellor welcomed the PM to Germany and highly appreciated Bangladesh’s socio-economic progress achieved by Hasina’s government.

Merkel hoped that the existing trade relations between the two countries would be strengthened further in future.

After the meeting, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the two countries on implementation of the e-passport project to upgrade Bangladesh’s current machine readable passport.

The two sides also inked a Joint Declaration of Intent to conduct a bilateral political exchange on counter terrorism issues.

Hasina was scheduled to leave Munich for Dhaka via Abu Dhabi by an Etihad Airways flight at 9:45pm (German time) yesterday.

‘CREATE GLOBAL FUND FOR WATER SECURITY’

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday renewed her call to the world leaders to create a global fund for water security, reports BSS.

She said scarcity of safe and fresh water was becoming acute due to climate change. “Global attention should be given to the efficient use of water and its effective governance,” she told a panel discussion on “Climate Security: Good COP, Bad Cops”.

The event was organised on the sidelines of the 53rd Munich Security Conference.

Hasina said climate change causes security concerns, by adding pressure on resources and it may also result in instability, violence and conflicts, which ultimately could jeopardise national security.

“Climate change is a global issue and its solution should also be global…. It requires combined, concerted and coherent actions.”

About climate-induced migration, the premier said millions are forced to move, internally and internationally, because of climate change. “This has direct bearings on social and economic resources, resulting in new security concerns.”

In this regard, she cited the 2016 Global Risk Report and said it suggests that forced migration and climate change are the biggest risks to global economy.

She said the Paris Agreement has been a reflection of political solidarity of the world leaders in securing people and planet from the threats of climate change.

“Though the outcome of Marrakech Conference was not much encouraging, the spirit generated in Paris can’t be lost,” she said.

Briefing reporters after the panel discussion, Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haq said the prime minister in the meeting stressed the need for addressing three issues — food security, water security and forced displacement — to ensure overall security of mankind.

She called for compliance of the commitment agreed by the major economies to provide necessary financial support to the vulnerable countries to address the impacts of climate change.

Source: Daily Star, Dhaka, Bangladesh

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