Bangladesh calls for intra-ASEM cooperation

DHAKA, Nov. 12 (Foreign Ministry Press Release) — Foreign Minister Dr. Dipu Moni highlighted the need for ensuring food, water and energy security for development and called for intra-ASEM cooperation for addressing these non-traditional security concerns.

She suggested that ASEM takes collaborative initiatives to manage common rivers, through basin wide and integrated water management. It could also take joint programmes for fulfilling the energy and food requirements of the countries such as regional hydro electricity projects to meet energy shortage and emergency food banks to prevent any food crisis, she elaborated. She also proposed to share best practices, green and appropriate technology among the ASEM members.

Dr. Dipu Moni is attending the 11th Asian-Europe Meeting’s (ASEM) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (FMM) in New Delhi which began yesterday. Bangladesh became a member of this 52-member group – bridging Asia and Europe – last year.

This is the first Ministerial meeting where Bangladesh is attending as a full member. Representatives of fifty one ASEM members including 28 Foreign Ministers and 20 Deputy Foreign Ministers are attending the ASEM FMM.

Yesterday On the sidelines of ASEM, Foreign Minister met the Indian Minister for External Affairs, Mr. Salman Khurshid. During the meeting, she discussed issues of mutual interests and reiterated the resolve to further strengthening the friendly relations between the two countries. The Bangladesh Foreign Minister underscored the need for the early resolution of long pending issues. The Indian Minister reassured her that India is committed to the implementation of the pledges that had been made at the highest level. Bangladesh High Commissioner to India, H.E. Mr. Tarik Karim was present during the meeting.

Dr. Dipu Moni also met Baroness Catherin Ashton, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Vice President of European Council on the margin of the ASEM. They discussed various issues of bilateral cooperation between Bangladesh and EU. They also discussed the upcoming election and the participation of the EU observers. The Foreign Minister apprised Ms. Ashton on the recent developments in the RMG sector in post-Rana plaza scenario and thanked her for the continued collaboration of EU to improve the working situation in this industry in Bangladesh.

She also had bilateral meetings with Foreign Ministers of Cyprus, CzechRepublic, Estonia, the Netherlands, Bulgaria, Norway and the Secretary of State of Foreign Affairs of Spain. In all these meetings, issues of bilateral relations and ways to further strengthening of bilateral trade, investment, cultural and educational cooperation were discussed.

Attending the retreat session this morning, the Foreign Minister Dr. Dipu Moni left New Delhi for Colombo in the afternoon to attend the meeting of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group, of which she is the Chair.