Leader of the Opposition and Head of the Labour Party Sir Keir Starmer yesterday said “Bangladesh and the UK are bound by excellent ties and further reinforced by the British-Bangladesh Diaspora”.
He made this observation during his meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her place of residence.
The Prime Minister is now in London on a four-day visit to attend the State Funeral of the late Queen Elizabeth II.
According to the Prime Minister’s Press Wing, Sheikh Hasina expressed her profound condolences at the Queen’s demise. Sir Starmer thanked the Prime Minister for her tributes in memory of the Queen.
They also recalled Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s meeting and personal rapport with the former Labour Prime Minister Sir Harold Wilson. Prime Minister thanked the Labour leader for his messages on the occasions of Bangabandhu’s Birth Centenary and the Golden Jubilee of Bangladesh’s Independence.
Sir Stramer recalled his visit to Bangladesh in 2016 and his meeting with the prime minister . He expressed satisfaction at the growing number of people of Bangladesh origin being elected to offices of the Labour Party across the UK. He said that the Labour Party was working on promoting and nurturing young generation leaders that should attract more British-Bangladeshi youth.
The two leaders discussed the impact of Russia- Ukraine war particularly on the Global South. The Prime Minister underscored the need for a negotiated settlement of the conflict to protect common people around the world from food, energy and financial insecurities.
She suggested reviewing whether the sanctions imposed in the wake of the war were having otherwise implications for people in the developing countries.
The two sides exchanged views on the possible impacts on bilateral trade relations due to the ongoing inflationary pressures and cost-of-living crisis.
The Labour Party leader said they would continue to advocate for the big retailers in the UK and the West to share the costs with the readymade garment manufacturers.
Sir Starmer appreciated Bangladesh’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic under the Prime Minister’s leadership. He reiterated the Labour Party’s commitment to work with vulnerable countries like Bangladesh on climate change issues.
The Bangladesh Prime Minister appreciated the widening climate partnership between the two countries.
Sheikh Hasina briefed the Labour Party leader about the growing burden on Bangladesh due to the prolonged presence of the Rohingya from Myanmar.
They discussed the recent flare-up of armed conflicts in close proximity to Bangladesh’s border.
The Prime Minister pointed out that Bangladesh was exercising the utmost restraint despite spill-over effects of the conflicts inside its territory.
Later, Lord Swaraj Paul of Marylebone paid a courtesy call on her.
The veteran Member of the UK House of Lords reiterated his appreciation for the Prime Minister’s leadership. He expressed interest in further promoting business and education partnerships between the two countries.