Dr. Dipu Moni, MP, Foreign Minister of Bangladesh called upon the member and observer countries of CICA for working together for achieving peace, security and stability in Asia through eradicating poverty, tackling climate change, playing effective role on counter-terrorism, and eliminating weapons of mass destruction. She was delivering a statement today at the 20th Commemorative Session and 4th Meeting of Foreign Ministers of Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) [A multilateral forum of 24 Member countries and 8 Observer countries and 3 Observer Organisations] in Astana. She acknowledged the dynamic leadership of the Republic of Turkey-the current Chair of CICA for moving forward the organization through Confidence Building Measures among its member states. She also appreciated visionary leadership of Kazakhstan President Nursultan Abishuly Nazarbayev in forming the CICA, 20 years ago as well as moving forward the activities of the Organisation. Bangladesh Foreign Minister expressed Bangladesh’s keen interest in applying for full membership of CICA from its current observer status. Bangladesh became observer of CICA in 2010 and given the geo-political importance as well as social, economic and security dimensions of the activities of CICA, Bangladesh can join this Organisation as a full member for active participation, Foreign Minister informed the meeting.
In the sidelines of the CICA meeting, Bangladesh Foreign Minister also had bilateral meetings with Foreign Minister of Russia, Sergey Lavrov; Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu; Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan Yerzhan Kazykhanov and Deputy Foreign Minister of Afghanistan Jawed Ludin. During these meetings issues of mutual interests between Bangladesh and all of these countries were discussed. Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan Kazykhanov expressed his keen interests to expand bilateral relations with Bangladesh, particularly in the area of trade and investment and agricultural cooperation. Bangladesh Foreign Minister also highlighted the historical, religious and cultural bonds between the two countries and sought support for appointing honorary consuls in both countries to make regular contacts to expand the existing ties. Both Ministers agreed to sign legal instruments in key areas of cooperation including for regular political consultations between the two Foreign Ministries. They also agreed to work together at UN and other international fora. Apart from bilateral issues including signing the FTA between Bangladesh and Turkey, the issue of Myanmar refugees came up in the meeting with the Turkish Foreign Minister. Both agreed that for effective resolution of the Rohingya problem it is imperative that the Government of Myanmar respects the rights of the Rakhaine Muslims and create conducive conditions within the Rakhaine state for the Rohingyas.