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Foreign Minister Mahmood Ali Spends a Busy Day in Malta

1Foreign Minister A.H. Mahmood Ali, MP led Bangladesh delegation at the Pre-CHOGM Commonwealth Foreign Ministers meeting on the second and final day (26 November) of the event. The Foreign Ministers discussed wide range of political issues yesterday including migration, violent extremism and radicalisation, ending sexual violence in conflict, early and forced marriage. They finalised the Communique of the CHOGM 2015 for adoption by the Commonwealth Heads of Governments. They are finalising draft Climate Statement of Commonwealth leaders as a strong political message to the COP21 to be held in Paris.
This morning at a plenary session of Commonwealth Business Forum on “Connecting Asia: Accelerating Regional Integration and Development”, Foreign Minister Ali delivered a keynote speech on behalf of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on “Regional Connectivity in South Asia.” He highlighted how Bangladesh was playing a leading role in enhancing regional connectivity in South Asia, related progress in the sub-regional connectivity initiatives and highlighted Bangladesh’s vision for expanding multi modal connectivity beyond South Asia by linking South East Asia, China and more for shared development and prosperity. The session was moderated by the British State Minister of Commonwealth Mr. Hugo Swire and the panellists were from India, Nepal and UK.
A Bangladesh specific roundtable was also held at the sidelines of the Commonwealth Business Forum with a considerable participation of business people from across Commonwealth countries. In his address, Foreign Minister Ali informed the business leaders of the opportunities of investing in Bangladesh especially in big infrastructure projects to facilitate faster, higher and sustainable growth and development. The event was conducted by the CEO of Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council (CWEIC) Oliver Everett. The CEO, PPP and Executive Member of BOI made power point and video presentations.
The Foreign Minister of Canada Stephane Dion met the Bangladesh Foreign Minister. It was their first meeting following the formation of new cabinet in Canada. Foreign Minister Ali had exchange of views on Commonwealth and ways of making it more dynamic and discussed bilateral matters. The two Foreign Ministers agreed to enhance bilateral cooperation. Foreign Minister Ali apprised his new Canadian counterpart of how the Government of Bangladesh was able to effectively deal with the problems of extremism and radicalisation. He also enlightened him on measures and initiatives of the Government taken in the aftermath of the killings of bloggers and foreign nationals. He also highlighted how Bangladesh was making steady progress in economic growth, socio-economic development, women’s empowerment and other areas under the able leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. The Canadian Foreign Minister invited Foreign Minister Ali to visit Canada at a mutually convenient date and he accepted the invitation with pleasure.
Representative of Australian Foreign Minister and former Foreign Minister of Australia Alexander Downer also met Bangladesh Foreign Minister and exchanged views on various issues.
Later in the afternoon, Foreign Minister of Botswana Dr. Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi met the Bangladesh Foreign Minister and introduced their candidate for the post of Commonwealth Secretary General Ms. Masekgoa Masire Mwamba. Earlier, the Dominican candidate Rt. Hon. Patricia Scottland also met the Foreign Minister. Prime Minister of Antigua Barbuda Gaston Browne also met the Foreign Minister and Leader of Bangladesh Delegation to introduce their candidate Sir Ronald Sanders.