Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen MP has congratulated the Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Prak Sokhonn for Cambodia's assumption of ASEAN Chairmanship.
Foreign Minister Momen also congratulated Prak Sokhonn for being elected the Special Envoy of the ASEAN Chair to Myanmar during their conversation over the phone Tuesday (18 January), reads a press release.
Referring to the longstanding and excellent bilateral relations between the two countries, Dr Momen mentioned that Bangladesh highly valued its relations with Cambodia as an important partner in the neighbourhood.
Dr Momen observed that the Cambodian Chairmanship of ASEAN provided a great opportunity for them to facilitate the safe and dignified return of the forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals, currently being sheltered in Bangladesh on humanitarian grounds, expeditiously to Myanmar.
The Bangladesh Foreign Minister also sought to sensitise his Cambodian counterpart of the potential security risks to Bangladesh, Myanmar and to the greater region if the crisis is left festering for a much longer period of time due to the vulnerability of the displaced people to radicalism, extremism, terrorism, cross-border crimes etc.
Lauding the 'big heart' demonstrated by Bangladesh in sheltering 1.1 million displaced Myanmarese people, Prak Sokhonn expressed his full understanding of and sympathy for the difficulties being faced by Bangladesh in this regard and assured of his best efforts in bringing about a sustainable solution to the problem.
Both Ministers highly appreciated the praiseworthy steps taken by the Prime Ministers of Bangladesh and Cambodia for mutual naming of a prominent street in the Capitals Dhaka and Phnom Penh, which took the bilateral relations between the two countries to new heights.
On Bangladesh Foreign Minister's request for Cambodia's support in expediting Bangladesh's bid for ASEAN Sectoral Dialogue Partnership status, the Cambodian Foreign Minister expressed his endorsement and assured of necessary coordination with the ASEAN Secretariat in this regard.
As Dr Momen extended a cordial invitation to his Cambodian counterpart for a visit to Bangladesh and to take a firsthand look at the sheltered Rohingya people, the latter readily accepted the invitation.
The two Foreign Ministers also exchanged greetings of the New Year.