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06/12/2011: Hon. Prime Minister urges Myanmar to prosper together as friends

NAY PAI TAW, Dec 6

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina here today urged her southeastern neighbour Myanmar to take a fresh vow to prosper together with Bangladesh as an old friend and neighbour. "Closer cooperation will allow us to move rapidly towards achieving our common goals of prosperity of our peoples, our nations and our region," she said.

The Prime Minister was addressing a banquet hosted by President of Myanmar U Thein Sein in her honour at President Office on the second day of her first ever visit to Myanmar. "I heard so much about your great country during my growing years. Your country had proved to be a friend in need through its recognition to Bangladesh on January 13, 1972 soon after independence," Sheikh Hasina said.

Referring to her government's last two and a half years' efforts to deepen the relations with Myanmar, Sheikh Hasina said, "I believe our journey to a bright future has already begun with series of meetings at all levels."She said the two instruments signed today for establishment of a joint commission for bilateral cooperation and establishment of a joint business council would open up exciting opportunities to boost relations between the two countries. Mentioning the excellent bilateral ties between the two countries, Sheikh Hasina said the relations are based on mutual trust and respect, shared history, common cultural heritage and values, spirit of good neighborliness and peaceful coexistence.

She said Bangladesh is moving forward despite many formidable challenges and it has been observing with admiration the rapid economic development of Myanmar. Bangladesh and Myanmar can jointly prosper by collaborating in areas such as energy, trade, investment, banking, agriculture, telecommunication and tourism, she said. For this, Sheikh Hasina said, there should be a good road, rail, water and air connectivity and frequent exchange of cultural, sports and academic programmes. "Our combined strength would also help us mitigate the effects of climate change, global economic crises and rising challenges of globalization," she said, adding, "Our common views on many regional and international issues would also reach a larger audience."

She congratulated President Sein and the people of Myanmar on successful journey towards democracy. She also felicitated Sein on his election as the chairman of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations).She hoped that Myanmar would surely contribute to building bridges between ASEAN with other regions and countries, as it has been doing as chairman of BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multisectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation). She thanked President Sein for extending generous hospitality to her and her entourage members, and invited the Myanmar President to visit Bangladesh along with Mrs. U Sein."Such a visit would be a step in strengthening further the existing friendship of our two countries and peoples," she said.

Source: BSS