275Published on February 7, 2022
Western European country Luxembourg has reaffirmed Bangladesh to continue its support regarding the repatriation of Rohingya refugees to their homeland Myanmar alongside exploring new opportunities to widen and deepen the existing bilateral relations further.
The reaffirmation came when Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina exchanged greetings with her Luxembourg counterpart Xavier Bettel through a videoconference on Monday, reports BSS citing a release of the Prime Minister’s Press Wing.
During the conversation that lasted for about half an hour, the two prime ministers discussed a range of topics between the two countries and agreed to explore new opportunities to further widen and deepen the existing bilateral cooperation.
Sheikh Hasina mentioned Luxembourg as a steady supporter and trusted partner in the ongoing socio-economic development journey of Bangladesh.
She briefed the Luxembourg prime minister about vaccination progress and containing the COVID-19 in Bangladesh.
She also recollected a congratulatory message from the Grand Duke of Luxembourg on the occasion of Bangladesh’s Independence Day last year when the Golden Jubilee of independence and the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was being celebrated.
While the prime minister sought Luxembourg's support on the grounds of repatriating Rohingyas to their homeland, Xavier Bettel reaffirmed Luxembourg's continued support on this issue.
Xavier Bettel expressed his satisfaction as the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) awarded the Luxembourg-supported “Friendship Hospital” building for 2021 located in Shyamnagar, Satkhira.
Sheikh Hasina also lauded the architecture of the building as the designer is a Bangladeshi.
During the conversation, the two Prime Ministers agreed to conclude the bilateral Air Services Agreement soon as Luxembourg is looking forward to establishing direct cargo flights on a priority basis.
They also expressed their collective willingness to boost trade and economic cooperation between the two countries.
Sheikh Hasina praised Luxembourg's expertise in financial sector management and would like to avail the opportunity to benefit from it.
Prime Minister Bettel mentioned with happiness that over 1000 Bangladeshi live in his country, where a large number are studying there.
Sheikh Hasina informed Xavier Bettel that Bangladesh will officially graduate from the UN LDC category in 2026 and asked for his government's cooperation with the European Union for trade preferences such as the GSP+ in the EU market during the post-graduation transition period.
The Luxembourg prime minister agreed in principle to extend wholehearted support for Bangladesh.
Both the leaders also discussed many climate change issues of common concern. Sheikh Hasina welcomed Luxembourg's climate-smart investments in infrastructure, water treatment, urban development, and renewable energy.
In the end, Xavier Bettel invited Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to visit Luxembourg at her convenience. In turn, Sheikh Hasina also invited Xavier Bettel to pay a visit to see Bangladesh's ongoing socio-economic progress at the earliest.
At the outset, two leaders congratulated each other on 50 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries and for maintaining friendly cooperation all through.
Sheikh Hasina also thanked “Team Europe” for its support to Bangladesh to alleviate the pandemic impact through budgetary support and vaccine donation.