“It is good to see that the political climate in Bangladesh has stabilized and that right-minded thinking is percolating through all political camps as evident from the recent local level elections,” said Mr. Kamalesh Sharma, the Commonwealth Secretary General during his call on the Bangladesh Foreign Minister Mr. A. H. Mahmood Ali, MP here yesterday..
Foreign Minister Ali, who is visiting London for two days, briefed the Commonwealth Secretary General about the post-election situation and the recently held Upazilla Council elections in Bangladesh.
The Commonwealth Secretary General welcomed these developments and underscored the importance of upholding the Constitution and democratic order. “The Commonwealth would not like to see any form of violence, disorder and divisiveness in Bangladesh’s democratic process,” he added.
Mr. Sharma stressed the need for clear commitment among all political parties about the ground rules for holding elections in accordance with the Constitutional provisions.
The Commonwealth Secretary General briefed the Bangladesh Foreign Minister about the work being undertaken to follow-up on the decisions of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) held in Colombo in November 2013.
They also exchanged views on plans for management reforms within the Commonwealth Secretariat. The Bangladesh Foreign Minister underscored the need for striking the right balance between development and governance issues in the Commonwealth’s work.
The Commonwealth Secretary General also expressed his interest in visiting Bangladesh at a mutually convenient time later this year.
Earlier, the Bangladesh Foreign Minister met with Lord Tariq Ahmad, Government Whip and Spokesperson at the House of Lords with the rank of a Minister.
Recalling his meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Lord Ahmad commended her decisive role in promoting secular democracy, economic progress and women’s empowerment. He showed particular interest in the progress made with girls’ education in Bangladesh.
Referring to the national elections held in January 2014, Lord Ahmad assured of the UK’s continued support for upholding the constitutional and democratic process and the rule of law in Bangladesh. He also underscored the need for the two countries working together to address the challenges posed by extremism and radicalization.
Foreign Minister Ali drew the Lord’s attention to the pertinent observations made in this regard by the European Parliament’s Resolution of 16 January 2014 on the situation in Bangladesh.
The Conservative Spokesperson at the House of Lords appreciated Bangladesh’s recent decision to join the Declaration for Commitment to End Sexual Violence During Armed Conflicts launched by the UK Government in September 2013.
He invited the Bangladesh Foreign Minister to attend the high-level event being organised in London in June this year to garner international political support for the Declaration.
Bangladesh High Commissioner to the UK Ambassador Mijarul Quayes was present during the meetings.