POST TIME: 1 December, 2017 00:00 00 AM
PM leaves for Cambodia Sunday
11 instruments to be signed

PM leaves for Cambodia Sunday

A total of 11 bilateral instruments are expected to be signed between Bangladesh and Cambodia during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to Phnom Penh from December 3 to 5. Of the instruments, two are agreements while the remaining nine are memorandums of understanding (MoU), Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali told a press conference on the PM’s visit at the ministry yesterday. To a question on Pope Francis, who started his three-day visit yesterday, the minister claimed that the leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics is on Bangladesh’s side on the ongoing Rohingya crisis. The agreements with Cambodia will deal with cooperation between private airliners and collaboration among top business entities of the two countries.

The nine MoUs will be on the formation of a joint trade council, boosting coordination in implementation of sustainable development goals by 2030, labour and vocational training, information and communication technology, tourism, preservation of war history and memorabilia, expansion of fisheries and aquaculture and investments.

The Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS) and the Royal Academy of Cambodia are due to sign a MoU for academic cooperation between the two organisations.

While in Phnom Penh, Prime Minister Hasina will hold bilateral talks with her Cambodian counterpart Hun Sen that will cover the entire gamut of issues of mutual interest. The prime minister will also pay a courtesy call on the Cambodian king, said the foreign minister.

Bangladesh has agreed to rename one prominent street in the diplomatic zone after the founding father of Cambodia and Cambodia will name a street in the name of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, he said.

When asked if the Rohingya crisis will be discussed during the prime minister’s visit, Minister Ali said, “Let’s us go there first, and then we will see.”

In the voting on a resolution on Rohingya crisis at the third committee of the United Nations General Assembly, Cambodia was one of the 10 countries that voted against the resolution which was passed by a huge margin. To another question, the foreign minister said that Pope Francis’ arrival to Bangladesh from Myanmar signals importance. He said that the Catholic leader voiced his support for Dhaka before his Myanmar visit and expressed his sympathy for the Rohingyas which means ‘He is with us’.