LT24::Dhaka::Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has expressed his country’s interest in selling defence equipment, including arms, to Bangladesh, in addition to investing in other large-scale projects.

Bangladesh also conveyed its interest in expanding business relations, Covid-19 support and multilateral relations.

When the Turkish minister met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday, she sought Turkey’s engagement in Rohingya repatriation.

The Turkish minister lauded Bangladesh’s success in stemming the spread of the coronavirus.

“I would like to congratulate Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and the government here for this successful fight against Covid-19,” he said at a press briefing at the state guesthouse Padma, emerging out of a bilateral meeting with his Bangladeshi counterpart Dr AK Abdul Momen.

During the Dhaka visit of Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, both the countries discussed different bilateral and multilateral relations between two countries.

At a briefing later, the Turkish foreign minister said Bangladesh is an essential partner of Turkey’s “Asia Anew” initiative as an example for the whole world of a sustainable development model in South Asia.

“The trade volume between Turkey and Bangladesh was around $1 billion in 2019, while it reached $754 million in the first 10 months of this year, despite the ongoing pandemic,” he said, adding we fixed our bilateral trade target at $2 billion.

Regarding cooperation in the defence sector, the Turkish foreign minister said, “Turkish defence products are cost effective, excellent in quality and we don’t impose any condition for purchasing those. I am sure Bangladesh can avail this.”

In reply to a query on defence technology sharing, Cavusoglu said we are interested to go for joint production and technology transfer in the areas of defence cooperation. “We don’t produce everything. We’re producing 75% of our needs.”

Çavuşoğlu also announced Turkey’s plan to build a hospital of international standards in Bangladesh in the near future.

“We are working on different models and hopefully, in the future, we will be able to build the hospital,” he said.

The Turkish minister said Bangladesh has become a rising star in South Asia and sustainable development model for the entire world under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Foreign minister also commended Turkey for achieving high-level success in fighting the deadly pandemic. He also appreciated its humanitarian initiatives to dispatch medical aides to around 140 countries including Bangladesh.

Momen noted, “The government and people of Turkey will work to extend cooperation to our common goals and prosperities.”

He expressed hope that at a convenient time in the future, a monument of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman will be erected in Turkey and another of the Republic of Turkey’s founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk will be built in Bangladesh.

PM seeks Turkey’s engagement in Rohingya repatriation

Minister Sheikh Hasina called for Turkey’s engagement in sustainable repatriation of the forcefully displaced Rohingyas to their homeland Myanmar.

The PM made the call when Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu paid a courtesy call on her at her official Ganabhaban residence in the morning.

PM’s Deputy Press Secretary Hasan Jahid Tusher briefed the media after the meeting.

Sheikh Hasina sought more Turkish investment in the special economic zones being built across Bangladesh for cashing on the geo-political position of the country in South Asia and South East Asia for mutual benefit of both the countries.

The PM extended her thanks to Turkey for repairing the Bangladeshi navy ship BNS Bijoy badly damaged in the recent Boirut blast in Lebanon.

She reiterated her invitation to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to visit Bangladesh.

In reply, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu thanked the Prime Minister for her invitation and said the president of Turkey is likely to visit Bangladesh in March next year, if the Covid-19 situation improves.

He highly praised the unprecedented development in Bangladesh and the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

The Turkish foreign minister highly praised the different initiatives taken by the government of Sheikh Hasina for successfully tackling the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Turkish foreign minister said they value the bilateral relations between Bangladesh and Turkey and his government and country are ready to give every support to strengthen the existing trade relations between the two countries.

He added that they have made investments in various sectors in Bangladesh that included energy and tourism.

Newly built Turkish embassy building opened

In the evening, the Turkish foreign minister with his Bangladeshi counterpart attended the inauguration ceremony of the new Turkish embassy compound. He pledged increased cooperation between the two countries during his visit.

During the ceremony, a video message of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was shown at the event.

“This compound is a reflection of the importance Turkey attaches to relations with Bangladesh. We wanted this structure to be worthy not only of Turkey but also of Bangladesh. Turkey-Bangladesh relations are flourishing every day,” Erdoğan said.

“This year is the 100th anniversary of the birth of Bangladesh’s founding leader, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, and a few months later we will celebrate the 50th anniversary of brotherly Bangladesh’s independence – in this regard, it carries a significance that the opening of our building takes place this year,” he added.

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