Ansar Ahmed Ullah
“Bangladesh’s bilateral relations with the United Kingdom since 1971 has been guided by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s secular, progressive, and peace-centric values and foreign policy,” said Bangladesh High Commissioner to the UK Ms Saida Muna Tasneem while speaking at a virtual meeting of the UK Parliament’s All-Party Parliamentary Group on Bangladesh (APPG) held on 15 April to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Bangladesh’s independence.
The High Commissioner also briefed the APPG that, “The Government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina looks forward to further intensifying Bangladesh’s bilateral trade, investment, climate and digital innovation partnership with a Post-Brexit Global Britain.”
Chaired by Rushanara Ali, MP, the Chairman of the APPG on Bangladesh and UK’s Trade Envoy to Bangladesh, the meeting was also attended by the Vice-Chairs of Parliamentary Group including Bob Blackman MP, Rupa Huq MP, Afzal Khan MP, Khalid Mahmood MP, Tony Llyod MP, Geraint Davies MP and representatives from the British FCDO.
The APPG Chair Rushanara Ali, MP, said, “As a British-Bangladeshi, I am extremely proud to mark the 50th anniversary of Bangladesh’s independence. I pay tribute to all those who sacrificed their lives for our freedom and independence. We are forever indebted to them.” Ms Ali also paid tribute to Bangladesh’s Founding Father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on his Birth Centenary.
APPG Vice Chairs Bob Blackman, MP, and Geraint Davies, MP, praised Bangladesh for its sustained growth and progress over the past 50 years. Other members of the APPG, including Khalid Mahmood, MP, praised Bangladesh’s climate leadership.
During the meeting, the High Commissioner raised two issues of concern with the APPG, including the recent red-listing of Bangladesh by the UK and the protracted Rohingya crisis. High Commissioner briefed the Parliamentary Group about the inconveniences and obstacles caused by the red listing of the Bangladeshi passport holders, severely affecting the bilateral trade in the ready-made garments, food and beverage sectors, and emergency medical treatments. Praising the British Government’s role on the Rohingya issue, especially as the pen-holder in the UN Security Council, the High Commissioner called upon the APPG to keep the issue of the sustainable and dignified return of the Rohingyas back to Myanmar high on its agenda at the British Parliament.