Foreign Affairs Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen has stressed the need to further strengthen the bilateral relations between Bangladesh and Serbia by holding a foreign office consultation meeting between the two countries. He underscored the need while holding a bilateral meeting with his Serbian counterpart Nikola Selakovic on the sidelines of the NAM meeting in Belgrade on Thursday, a Foreign Ministry press release said here today (15 October 2021).
During the meeting, the whole gamut of trade, investment and labour were discussed. The foreign minister sought support of Serbia for the early repatriation of the Rohingyas, temporarily sheltered in Bangladesh, to their homeland Myanmar. On the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, Dr. Momen emphasized on rejuvenation of the relationship between the two friendly countries. In this regard, he proposed holding a Foreign Office Consultation which the Serbian minister gladly welcomed.
Both sides emphasized on the early signing of the two MoUs on visa waiver in respect of diplomatic and official passports and defence co-operation. Both the foreign ministers also discussed about the possibility of hosting joint celebratory events to mark the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations. Dr. Momen highlighted Bangladesh’s non-aligned foreign policy as envisioned by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
On 13 October, Bangladesh foreign minister met Serbian Minister of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs Dr. Darija Kisic Tepavcevic. During the meeting, the possibility of engaging Bangladeshi workforce in the development work of Serbia was discussed. Dr Momen informed the Serbian minister about the hardworking workforce of Bangladesh who are contributing to the infrastructure development of many countries, including in the Middle East. He proposed that Serbia can be benefitted from the expertise of Bangladeshi workforce, especially in infrastructure development, health and tourism sectors.
The Serbian minister welcomed the idea and recommended to work closely towards conclusion of a cooperation agreement in the field of labour and employment. The meeting also featured discussion on different socio-economic issues. The Serbian labour minister highly lauded the political leadership of Bangladesh for firmly steering the country especially making remarkable progress in women empowerment and girls’ education.
Earlier on 11 October, Dr Momen held a meeting with Serbian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Telecommunication Tatjana Matic. Terming Bangladesh “a land of opportunities”, Dr. Momen highlighted the huge potentials to increase trade relations between the two countries. He informed the minister about the generous incentives offered by Bangladesh government to foreign investors and invited Serbian business delegation to visit Bangladesh.