BUDAPEST, Hungary: Hungarian President Dr Janos Ader yesterday offered opening up a new door of cooperation with Bangladesh in a number of areas including introduction of new scholarship programme for the students of medical, technology and agricultural science.
Hungarian President Dr Janos Ader extended the offers in a meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at Sandor Palace here yesterday.
The Bangladesh premier is now in Hungarian capital on a four-day bilateral visit in conjunction with Budapest Water Summit 2016.
Briefing reporters after the meeting, Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque said Prime Minister of Hungary Victor Orban would announce the scholarship programme during the official talks with his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina here today.
President Ader also offered his government’s support to Bangladesh in the areas of pisciculture and aquaculture. Hungary also wants to assist Bangladesh in water purification and flood affected areas, Ader said.
“These offers would open up a new door of cooperation with Hungary,” foreign secretary said.
President Ader cordially welcomed the Bangladesh premier who arrived at the President Palace this afternoon. The meeting was held in a very cordial and open environment, Haque said.
“The outcome of the meeting manifested that Hungary is very keen to do something new with Bangladesh to boost up the relation,” the foreign secretary said.
Recalling Hungary’s important role in favour of Bangladesh’s independence in 1971, Sheikh Hasina said relations between the two countries started taking a good shape soon after independence.
“But the ties suddenly snapped after brutal assassination of Bangabandhu, and we have come to a commitment to reestablish the relation, ” the foreign secretary quoted the prime minister as saying.
The foreign secretary said as a global leader on water issues, the Hungarian president was curious to know about the future impacts in Bangladesh due to sea level rise and other issues like disaster and water resources management.
President Ader wanted to know about Bangladesh’s preparations to combat the sea level rise and prospective support of his government to address the situation.
In this connection, Sheikh Hasina pointed out different studies exposing Bangladesh’s vulnerability to sea level rise and risk of displacement of 20 to 25 million people in case of two meter rise of the sea level.
The prime minister briefed the Hungarian president about Bangladesh’s different innovative schemes taken under climate resilient fund that include greenbelt projects, afforestation programmes and construction of homes on high land for displaced people.
As the prime minister invited the Hungarian President to visit Bangladesh to have firsthand experience about the projects, he accepted the invitation and hoped to visit Bangladesh at his convenience.
The foreign secretary said Sheikh Hasina briefed President Ader about the prospects of Bangladesh in the areas of investment, ICT and shipbuilding.
As the issue of international support was raised for water resources management, the prime minister laid importance on settlement of the water issues bilaterally instead of waiting for international response or support.
The prime minister there could be cooperation between the two countries in the areas of technology transfer and sharing innovative ideas rather than giving aid or donations.
Haque said the two leaders discussed the issue of international support for water resources management.
Earlier, the prime minister held a meeting with President of Mauritius Ameenah Gurib-Fakim on the sidelines of the Water Summit 2016 that began in the Hungarian capital today.
The foreign secretary said Mrs. Fakim briefed the prime minister about the Bangladeshi migrants working in Mauritius. They also elaborately discussed the investment issue.
President Fakim informed Sheikh Hasina that a large number of Bangladeshi nationals are working in the garment industries in Mauritius, and few days ago, the Bangladesh foreign minister visited those factories to see their conditions.
The foreign secretary said Bangladeshi workers in Mauritius are earning more and living better than the workers in other countries.
In the morning, Sheikh Hasina along with President Ader visited “Sustainable Water Solutions Expo” where she witnessed new innovative technologies and water purification process