Cambodia today assured Bangladesh that it would support repatriation process of forcibly displaced Rohingyas to Myanmar within the framework of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), the platform that both Phnom Penh and Naypyidaw share.
The East Asian nation also hoped that Bangladesh’s bilateral consultations with Myanmar would lead an early solution to the Rohingya crisis.
The assurance came when Bangladesh sought Cambodia’s support in the Rohingya repatriation issue during the first ever Joint Commission (JC) meeting between the two countries held at the state guest house Meghna in the capital.
State Minister for foreign affairs Md Shahriar Alam led an 18-member Bangladesh delegation at the meeting while Cambodian Secretary of State of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Eat Sophea led her 27-member delegation.
During the meeting, the two sides comprehensively discussed the present state of bilateral relations covering areas such as trade and investment, agriculture and fisheries, science and technology, culture, defence, ICT, tourism, and parliamentary friendship.
Bangladesh handed over to the Cambodian side a three year Cultural Exchange Programme (CEP) to celebrate the Mujib Year jointly in both countries.
The two countries stressed on expanding bilateral trade and investment and sharing each other’s practices and strategies in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The two sides agreed that the Technical Working Group Meeting on training cooperation will be held in Dhaka while Joint Working Group on tourism cooperation in Cambodia.
They also underscored the importance of direct air connectivity and stressed the need for early signing of the Air Services Agreement between the two countries.
It was agreed that the Liberation War Museum of Bangladesh and the Toul Sleng Genocide Museum of Cambodia would share best practices through arrangement of joint seminar.
Both sides welcomed the finalization of the proposed MoU on Defence Cooperation under which members of armed forces of both countries would take part in various training and capacity building programmes in both countries. It was agreed that parliamentarians of two countries would take part in exchange programmes under the framework of the Bangladesh-Cambodia Parliamentary Friendship Group.
At the meeting, a MoU on establishment of Foreign Office Consultations was also signed.
Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen, Bangladesh Ambassador to Thailand concurrently accredited to Cambodia Md. Nazmul Quaunine and Cambodian Ambassador to India concurrently accredited to Bangladesh UNG Sean were also present.
The MoU on establishing the JC framework was signed between Bangladesh and Cambodia in Dhaka in June 2014 during the visit of Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen. (BSS)