Colombo: Sri Lanka Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina held bilateral talks on Saturday at the Bangladesh Prime Minister’s Office in Dhaka. The two leaders discussed all aspects of Bangladesh-Sri Lanka relations and also discussed contemporary international and regional issues of common interest. They recalled the shared bonds of history, tradition, culture and multitude of other commonalities between the two countries.
They reiterated their firm conviction to further strengthen the bilateral relations with a pragmatic and mature approach based on sovereignty, equality, friendship, trust and understanding for the mutual benefit of the people of the two countries.
Rajapaksa appreciated the leadership of Hasina for the effective handling of the Covid-19 pandemic in Bangladesh. He thanked for her government’s support of Covid-19 related medical accessories to Sri Lanka under the ‘SAARC Covid-19 Emergency Fund’. Rajapaksa also thanked the Bangladesh government for their steadfast support in combating terrorism in Sri Lanka, and in this context, for extending support to Sri Lanka at international fora, including the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) and other United Nations bodies and international organizations. Rajapaksa expressed the hope that Bangladesh will continue to stand in solidarity with Sri Lanka at the ongoing 46th Session of the UNHRC in Geneva.
The two Prime Ministers emphasized the need for enhanced interaction and increased high-level exchanges, including at the level of parliamentarians. Referring to the formation of the Bangladesh-Sri Lanka Parliamentary Friendship Association, the two leaders agreed to revive the Association with newly elected MPs and encouraged the legislators to play catalytic role in deepening relations between the two countries.
Both the leaders emphasized on reinvigorating the existing institutional mechanisms between the two countries including the Foreign Office Consultations (FoC), Joint Economic Commission (JEC), sectoral Joint Working Groups (JWGs), Joint Programmes / Work Plans as an important catalyst for further enhancing the overall bilateral relations.