State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam on Tuesday said the government is persistently working to consolidate relations with neighbors for regional stability, shared prosperity, and mutual development.
Speaking as the chief guest at a seminar, he emphasized strengthening bilateral relations with neighbors through promoting partnership and cooperation, increasing trade and commerce, pursuing cooperation in the water and power sector, enhancing connectivity, collaborating on capacity building for people-to-people contact. and underlined the importance of humanitarian assistance to demonstrate soft power.
Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS) organized the seminar on ‘Strengthening Bangladesh’s Foreign Relations with Neighbors in the Evolving Global Order’
The state minister said, Bangladesh’s principal foreign policy – friendship to all, malice towards none – will remain intact whatever the global order is shifting towards, according to UNBs.
“Our principal position – friendship to all, malice towards none – will remain intact, no matter what happens,” he said.
The state minister said that Bangladesh would also never compromise in the areas of its founding principles – nationalism, socialism, democracy and secularism.
“Keeping those intact, Bangladesh will continue its resources … we have large Bangladeshi diaspora .. we do have, of course, some soft power,” he said.
Alam said Bangladesh would continue to expand its relationship that has already established as a good neighbor in its neighborhood.
“We (also) hope that our neighbors will try to reciprocate that with the best of their ability,” he said adding that these are more relevant when the world is undergoing a complex situation.
M Humayun Kabir, president of Bangladesh Enterprise Institute (BEI), chaired the session and Major General Sheikh Pasha Habib Uddin, director general, BIISS, delivered the welcome address.
Dr Lailufar Yasmin, professor and chairperson, Department of International Relations, University of Dhaka, made a presentation on “Navigating Bangladesh’s Foreign Relations with the Neighbors in the Evolving Global Order.”
ATM Rokebul Haque, director general (South Asia), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, delivered his presentation on “Bangladesh’s Foreign Policy Towards Her Neighbours: Friendship with Shared Prosperity.”
Dr Mahfuz Kabir, research director, BIISS, made his presentation on “Exploring New Avenues of Cooperation with the Neighbours.”
M Ashique Rahman, senior research fellow, BIISS, presented on “Sustaining Bangladesh’s Relations in the Extended Neighbourhood.”
Major General Sheikh Pasha Habib Uddin highlighted the re-emergence of Asia in the current global context.
He emphasized on strengthening bilateral and multilateral relations with both close-door neighbors and extended neighbors and promoting multilateralism to find peaceful and sustainable solutions to regional problems.
Humayun Kabir, president of Bangladesh Enterprise Institute (BEI) noted that in the changing global order, countries around the world are struggling to formulate their foreign policies with neighbors and Bangladesh must navigate through this cautiously.
Senior officials from different ministries, ambassadors, high commissioners, former diplomats, senior military officials, researchers, business people, teachers, students from various universities, representatives from different think tanks, international organizations, and media personalities participated in the program.