Foreign minister Dr Hasan Mahmud yesterday said the government would work in collaboration with all countries having different narratives and opinions while Dhaka felt no pressure following the elections.
“All the countries in the east and the west have already expressed their willingness to work with us, with the government. At the end of the day, they are our development partners and we will work together,” he said in his maiden media interaction after assuming the charge of his new portfolio.
Responding to a question, the minister said the new government was exposed to no external pressure as countries in both east and western hemispheres by now showed their interest to work with Dhaka though the election process witnessed pressures of different types.
“We are not feeling any pressure. There were many pressures over election . . . deep pressure, medium pressure – there were various pressures. But the election was held overcoming all pressures. So, we nev-er feel any pressure,” he said.
“Different countries have different perspectives, narratives… We do value them and at the end of the day we will work with all (of them).”
Mahmud said economic diplomacy would be the major focus of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s new government while Dhaka would continue to work with countries both in eastern and western hemi-spheres.
He said Dhaka would lay emphasis on economic diplomacy as its major focus and was particularly keen to explore expanded economic ties with African and South American nations as part of the policy.
Mahmud said maintaining relations with countries in the East and Western hemispheres appeared as a major challenge against the backdrop of growing global polarization.
But, he said, Bangladesh would stick to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s foreign policy doctrine – friendship to all, malice towards none.
Regarding the 12th general election, the foreign minister said the polls were free and fair and envoys of the US, UK and all other countries have congratulated the new government and expressed their willing-ness to work with Dhaka.
“All the countries in the east and the west have already expressed their willingness to work with us, with the government. At the end of the day, they are our development partners and we will work together,” he said.
He said a good number of election observers from the USA, EU, OIC and commonwealth countries oversaw the election while in their primary observation said the free and fair polls were held in festivity with peoples participation.
The minister said he would also work on ensuring remittance through legal channels in the wake of shortage in foreign currency reserves.
Responding a question on Rohingya crisis, the foreign minister showed his optimism that the issue could be resolved diplomatically.
“We remain engaged with Myanmar. We hope this problem will be resolved diplomatically,” he said.
Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen and Maritime Affairs Unit Secretary Rear Admiral (retd) Khurshed Alam were present during the interaction.