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Macron concludes Bangladesh visit with new chapter in bilateral ties

Dhaka, Sep 11 (EFE).– French President Emmanuel Macron concluded his two-day visit to Bangladesh on Monday, with the promise of a new chapter in bilateral ties amid growing global and regional challenges.

On the final day of his visit, Macron held a meeting with Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, during which the two countries signed an instrument on loan assistance for infrastructure development, and a cooperation agreement for building an earth observation satellite system.

“At a time when Russia is waging an imperialist war of conquest in Europe, it is more than ever our responsibility to continue building partnerships with our long-standing friends and to propose sustainable alternatives. This is the path we want to take with Bangladesh,” Macron said in a joint briefing after the meeting.

Macron promised assistance for Bangladesh in protecting biodiversity and building a smart country, while thanking them for showing confidence in European aeronautics and commitment to buy 10 Airbus A350s.

“In the context of the ongoing geopolitical instability and economic uncertainty, with France respecting and supporting the sovereignty of Bangladesh in formulating policies and this new strategic progress between Bangladesh and France, we both hope to play an effective role in regional stability and world peace,” Hasina said on her part.

The prime minister welcomed France’s pioneering role in facing the negative impact of climate change and said that she had a fruitful discussion with Macron regarding exchanges in the fields of education and culture between the two countries.

Macron arrived at Dhaka’s Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport on Sunday after attending the G20 summit in India, becoming the first French president to visit Bangladesh in over three decades since François Mitterrand in 1990.

Hasina received the French leader, who was accorded a red carpet reception on his arrival, with a state salute and guard of honor by a contingent of the Bangladesh Armed Forces.

Portraits of Macron, Bangladesh president Mohammed Shahabuddin and PM Hasina featured along the streets of the capital, along with festoons and the national flags of the two countries.

“More than three decades after François Mitterrand’s visit, we are opening a new page of our long-standing relationship,” Macron said at a banquet hosted in his honor by the Hasina government at a hotel.

Macron underlined that Bangladesh was “progressively retrieving its place on the world stage, a crossroad for trade, science and culture.”

“Those assets will be more than needed to face the current challenges, especially climate change…you can count on our full support,” he added.

“In a region facing new imperialism, we want to propose a third way with no intention to bully our partners or to lead them to unsustainable schemes,” Macron said.

Bangladesh PM Hasina hailed Macron as a “breath of fresh air in international politics,” adding that his visit would open “new eras of cooperation on strategic issues and advanced technologies.”

France is a major export destination for Bangladesh. The Asian country exported goods, mostly readymade garment items, worth $3.29 billion between July 2022 and June 2023, according to Bangladesh’s Export Promotion Bureau.

France’s exports to Bangladesh were $254.32 million during 2022, according to the United Nations COMTRADE database on international trade. EFE


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