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Bangladesh reaffirms support for Palestine
February 2nd, 2017 at 10:44 pm
Bangladesh reaffirms support for Palestine

Dhaka – Bangladesh on Thursday reiterated support to independent Palestine involving two-state solution involving Palestine and Israel, officials said.

Bangladesh made the affirmation at an official talk between Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and visiting Israeli President Mahmoud Abbas in Dhaka.

Dhaka also deplored the new Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory, Foreign Secretary Md Shahidul Haque said after the official talks between the two countries.

According to state-run Bangladesh Sangsad Sangstha, the foreign secretary said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina led Bangladesh side, while visiting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas headed his delegation during the talks.

Noting that Palestine state now remains at a “critical moment”, he said: “The two-state solution involving Palestine and Israel that we have been hearing for long time has become questionable due to Israeli aggression against Palestine.”

Bangladesh renewed its support to an international decision that adopted “two-state solution” meaning that Palestine and Israel would be separate states.

Prime Minister Hasina condemned fresh Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory, said the foreign secretary adding that the official talks were held in a very cordial atmosphere and mentioned that the current visit of Mahmoud Abbas is the maiden official tour to Bangladesh by any Palestinian president after (Palestinian) Chairman Yasser Arafat in 1997.

The visit of the Palestinian president to Bangladesh is “very important”, he said.

Through the visit, he said, a new horizon in terms of bilateral relations between Bangladesh and Palestine has been opened up.

Haque said the prime minister recalled with deep gratitude the unequivocal support of Palestine, especially Chairman Yasser Arafat, to Bangladesh’s war of liberation in 1971.

“Palestinian movement had inspired Bangladesh in its independence war,” Haque quoted the prime minister as saying.

Hasina mentioned the close friendship between Bangabandhu and Yasser Arafat.

The Palestinian president also paid his deep homage to Bangabandhu, describing him as a great leader of the world.

Mahmoud thanked and appreciated Bangladesh for its unequivocal support to independent Palestine state.

“Like many countries, Bangladesh didn’t give recognition to Israel and we want that Bangladesh would maintain the policy,” the Palestinian president said.

“We have recognised Israel but Bangladesh did not do it and for this, we thank Bangladesh,” Haque quoted the Palestinian leader as saying.

He said the Palestinians want to solve the problem with Israel through “peaceful negotiation”. As a result, the present context has become different, Haque said.

Mahmoud Abbas mentioned that the Palestinian people are interested to set up two states through peaceful negotiations. “So we sought Bangladesh’s continued support to it (two-state solution),” Abbas was quoted to have said by the secretary.

After the talks, a Memorandum of Understanding on Intergovernmental Joint Committee was signed between Bangladesh and Palestine in the presence of Hasina and Abbas.

Bangladesh Foreign Minister AH Mahmoud Ali and Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al Maliki inked the MoU which would pave the way for regular foreign office consultations between the two countries.

The first meeting under the intergovernmental joint committee is expected by the end of the year.

Palestinian side proposed to send a business delegation soon to explore potentials of trade and commerce between the two countries, the foreign secretary said.

There was no such platform in the past and all issues including trade and how Bangladesh could cooperate and the problem of the Palestinian students would be discussed, he said.

Earlier, the Palestinian president and the Bangladesh premier held a tete-a-tete at the PMO.

Abbas was given a heartiest welcome when he reached the Prime Minister’s Office in the afternoon to hold talks with Bangladesh Premier Sheikh Hasina, the news agency reported.

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