“Bangladesh peacekeepers are serving in extremely difficult situations in an outstanding manner and the Netherlands would like to explore the possibility of deepening our bilateral cooperation in UN peacekeeping operations”, said Foreign Minister of the Netherlands Bert Koenders during a bilateral meeting with the Bangladesh Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali, on the sidelines of the Global Conference on Cyber Space (GCCS) 2015 in the Hague today.
The Dutch Foreign Minister thanked Bangladesh for joining the Global Forum on Cyber Expertise (GFCE) launched during GCCS 2015 as a platform for promoting international cooperation on cyber security.
He also expressed keen interest in working together with Bangladesh on climate change adaptation and mitigation issues.
The Bangladesh Foreign Minister assured of taking forward the joint Bangladesh–Netherlands partnership on the “Internet Infrastructure and Maintenance Initiative” under the GFCE framework.
The two Foreign Ministers expressed satisfaction at the existing momentum of bilateral relations and agreed on the convening of Foreign Office Consultations between the two countries. Foreign Minister Ali invited the Netherlands to enhance their engagement in some of thrust sectors like pharmaceuticals, shipbuilding and ICT in Bangladesh.
The Dutch Minister assured of positively considering the issues of increasing the number of scholarships and possible visa waiver for certain categories of people from Bangladesh.
The Netherlands Foreign Minister appreciated Bangladesh’s efforts in combating terrorism and violent extremism and containing recruitment of potential foreign terrorist fighters. He also welcomed the announcement for the upcoming City Corporation Elections in Bangladesh.
The Bangladesh Foreign Minister extended invitation to the Dutch Prime Minister and Foreign Minister to visit Bangladesh at their earliest convenience. Minister Koenders assured of discussing the matter with the Netherlands Prime Minister.
The Bangladesh Foreign Minister also had a bilateral meeting with Deputy National Security Advisor of India Dr. Arvind Gupta. Dr. Gupta appreciated various measures being taken under the “Digital Bangladesh” initiative, as highlighted by the Bangladesh Foreign Minister at GCCS 2015.
Foreign Minister Ali exchanged views with the Indian side about building further bilateral cooperation in cyber security, including at the operational level. The two sides suggested addressing cyber security issues under the framework of regular Security Dialogues between the two countries.