Bangladesh and Sweden have agreed to work together to upgrade their cooperation to a ‘broader relationship’, the foreign ministry said.
Ways and means to that effect was “extensively discussed” on Monday at the first-ever ‘political consultations’ between the two foreign ministries in Dhaka, reports bdnews24.com.
Secretary (Bilateral & Consular) Kamrul Ahsan led the Bangladesh side while Head of the Department for Asia and the Pacific in Swedish Foreign Office Ambassador Cecilia Ruthstrom-Ruin headed the Swedish team.
The meeting followed the signing of a MoU in Stockholm in September 2016 between the two foreign ministers for holding of regular consultations.
Bilateral trade and investment figured prominently in the discussion in view of Bangladesh’s scheduled graduation from LDCs in 2024 and Sweden’s interest in having robust economic relations with Bangladesh.
The Swedish side appreciated Bangladesh’s tremendous socio-economic development over the past one decade, and outlined Sweden’s future strategy of development cooperation with Bangladesh.
Rogingya issue was also discussed as Bangladesh appreciated Sweden’s strong political and humanitarian support for the forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals.
Sweden expressed “deepest appreciation” for Bangladesh’s generous hosting of the displaced Rohingyas fleeing atrocities in Myanmar.
They also vowed to remain “seized” in terms of humanitarian and political support including the issue of accountability on the part of Myanmar.
Among other issues, Sweden’s Global Deal initiative, SDGs implementation, Climate Change, good governance and human rights, migration including Global Compact for Migration (GCM), peacekeeping and peace building, countering terrorism and violent extremism, regional issues of mutual interest and UN reform formed the discussion.
The next round of Consultations will take place in Stockholm at a mutually convenient date, the foreign ministry said in a statement.