Dhaka, Paris to boost defence cooperation

Diplomatic Correspondent | Published at 01:48am on March 10, 2020

Bangladesh and France on Monday stressed the need for enhancing cooperation in the defence sector, prime minister’s press secretary Ihsanul Karim said referring to a meeting of French defence minister Florence Parly with prime minister Sheikh Hasina in Dhaka.

The prime minister said in the meeting that Bangladesh would be happy to see greater cooperation in the areas of defence with France, according to private news agency United News of Bangladesh.

The government would develop Bangabandhu Satellite-II as the lifetime of the Bangabandhu Satellite-I, developed by a French company, is 15 years, she said at the meeting held at the Prime Minister’s Office.

The French minister also put emphasis on mounting more international pressure on Myanmar to take back its Rohingya nationals from Bangladesh.

‘The international community should create more pressure on Myanmar for repatriation of its citizens from Bangladesh,’ Ihsanul Karim quoted the French minister as saying after the meeting, according to state news agency Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha.  

Florence Parly also expressed her country’s keen interests to impart training to the students of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Aviation and Aerospace University.

France would also continue its support on the Rohingya issues, she said.

The French minister also held a separate meeting with foreign minister AK Abdul Momen at the PMO.

In the two meetings, she expressed the intent of her country to provide advanced French defence hardware including Rafale, a twin-jet fighter aircraft, and unmanned combat air vehicle, officials said.

Prime minister’s principal secretary Ahmad Kaikaus, principal staff officer of Armed Forces Division Lieutenant General Mohammad Mahfuzur Rahman, defence secretary Abdullah Mohsin Chowdhury, French ambassador Jean-Marin Schuh and foreign ministry director general Andalib Elias werepresent, among others, in the meeting with the prime minister.

Florence Parly reached Dhaka on early Monday and she was received by Lieutenant General Mohammad Mahfuzur Rahman.

She left Dhaka on Monday afternoon.