Australia to help BD for safe return of Rohingyas

22 Nov,2017

Dhaka, BdChronicle:

Australia will support Bangladesh for the safe and dignified return of displaced people from Myanmar which is an essential component of durable solution to the Rohingya crisis, says an Australian official.


Australia wants to have stronger cooperation with Bangladesh in sectors like trade and investment, agriculture, sports, and power and energy, climate change, and human resource development for Bangladesh.


These were discussed during the second Foreign Office Consultations between Bangladesh and Australia held at the state guesthouse Meghna on Tuesday. 


The Australian side was led by Penny Williams, Deputy Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) of Australia, and the Bangladesh side was led by Mahbub Uz Zaman, Secretary (Asia & Pacific) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


Australia will also extend different training offers for Bangladesh in a wide range of issue areas, including counterterrorism, defence, maritime security, and so on. 


Representatives from different ministries and divisions including Power and Energy, Home, Youth and Sports ministries, Economic Relations Division, Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA), Police Headquarters and others. 


At the meeting, major issues of bilateral and regional interests were discussed, said the Foreign Ministry here. 


During the discussion, the Australian side informed that Australia has lifted its air cargo restriction for Bangladesh but cargoes originating from Bangladesh need to transit through designated points.


Australia committed to continue its development assistance for Bangladesh and continue to increase the number of scholarships for Bangladesh. Australia offered 217 scholarships for different categories and fields for Bangladeshi students during 2018.


During the meeting, Bangladesh proposed four Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) on four different areas of cooperation such as agriculture, promotion and protection of investment, sports, and power sector and Australian side assured of considering the MoUs. 


The both sides expressed their willingness to work together for strengthening and deepening the bilateral relations.


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