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Momen courts ASEAN for dialogue partner status to Bangladesh

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen has urged the ASEAN member states to extend active support to Bangladesh’s candidacy for attaining Sectoral Dialogue Partner status of the regional bloc by the time of their next summit.

He made the call while speaking at the 30th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) held in Jakarta, Indonesia on Friday, UNB reports.

Momen also sought stronger and more effective support of ASEAN leaders and ARF member States to ensure safe, sustainable, dignified and voluntary return of Rohingyas to their homeland, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Saturday night.

Appreciating this year’s theme, “ASEAN Matters: Epicentrum of Growth”, he acknowledged the strong and effective commitment of ASEAN for strengthening regionalism and multilateralism as well as ASEAN centrality in furthering confidence building through constructive dialogue.

While presenting an overview of Bangladesh’s socio-economic development over the last decade, Momen highlighted effective COVID management, Disaster Risk Reduction, investment in sustainable infrastructure, and contribution in UN peacekeeping operations.

He also cited Indo-Pacific Outlook (IPO) of Bangladesh emphasizing the peace-centric foreign policy of Bangladesh, based on Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s dictum ‘friendship to all, malice towards none.’

In addition, he stressed the necessity of financing and technology transfer for effectively graduating from LDC, attaining SDGs, becoming a knowledge-based advanced economy and building a prosperous and climate-resilient delta in time.

Momen reiterated Bangladesh’s commitment and continued support to ARF activities aimed at collective security, peace and shared prosperity.

The meeting concluded by adopting seven outcome documents including ARF statement on the commemoration of 30 years of the ARF, statement of the 30th ASEAN Regional Forum on strengthening maritime non-traditional security cooperation, ARF statement on Nuclear Risk Reduction, Guidance on Nuclear Risk Reduction: In Pursuit of a World Without Nuclear Weapons, Collection of Documents Commemorating the 30th Anniversary of the ASEAN Regional Forum, ARF Work Plan for Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime 2023-2025 and Concept Paper on the Establishment of an Expert Group on Ferry Safety.

Foreign Ministers, Deputy Foreign Ministers and representatives of the 27 ARF member States participated in the meeting.

The meeting was chaired by Retno L. P. Marsudi, Foreign Minister of Indonesia and Chair of 30th ARF.

Foreign Minister Momen led the Bangladesh delegation to the 30th ARF.

He attended the reception hosted by the Indonesian Foreign Minister.

Momen also called on Joko Widodo, President of Indonesia.