Mistrust shrouds BD-Myanmar relations, seminar told

Mistrust shrouds BD-Myanmar relations, seminar told

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Speakers at an international seminar in the city on Wednesday said mistrust between Bangladesh and Myanmar is the main problem that stands in the way to strengthening the bilateral relation between the two neighbouring countries.
They said there is no alternative to building a strong relation with Myanmar, as a country can change its friends, but not neighbours.
The speakers also identified lack of political will, lack of regular exchange of views and opinion, confidence deficit and ethnic (Rohingya) tension in Myanmar as the other impediments. Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS) organised the seminar, titled ‘Contemporary Thoughts on Enhancing Bangladesh-Myanmar Relations’, at the BIISS Auditorium.
Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque, BIISS chairman Ambassador Munshi Faiz Ahmad, its DG Major General SM Shafiuddin Ahmed, and representatives from the Myanmar Institute of Strategic and International Studies (MISIS), including its member ambassador U Wynn Lwin spoke at the seminar.
Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque said: “Problem is the trust issue. If we go to the history, it is trust deficit.”
“The foreign ministry of Bangladesh is trying to create most possible stronger relation with Myanmar,” he said noting that a number of initiatives have been taken by the ministry in the last one year to strengthen the bilateral relations.
The foreign secretary suggested Rohingya issue should be addressed in decisive and pragmatic manners, saying the Rohingya issue is a problem. “We have to take cognisance of the problem to solve it.”
“We’re taking steps about setting up communication between the border guards of Bangladesh and the border guards of Myanmar to address border security,” he said.
Turning to huge population of Bangladesh, Shahidul Haque said: “Demographical dividend is our asset. Bangladesh plays an extremely important role to export work force to the rest of the world.”
Sub-Saharan countries and South Asian countries are two main sources of the work forces of the globe, he added.
The BIISS chairman chaired the first session, while the foreign secretary chaired the second session of the seminar where five separate papers were presented highlighting various bilateral issues of the two neighbouring countries. – UNB

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