Bangladesh seeks Spain’s support for Rohingya repatriation

Bangladeshi Ambassador Mohammad Sarwar Mahmood with Spanish Secretary of State Pilar Cancela Rodriguez. Photo: collected.

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Bangladeshi Ambassador Mohammad Sarwar Mahmood with Spanish Secretary of State Pilar Cancela Rodriguez. Photo: collected.

Bangladesh called on Spain to actively support Bangladesh’s position on the repatriation of Rohingyas to Myanmar.

He also urged Spain to join the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Germany in supporting The Gambia in the case against Myanmar before the International Court of Justice ( ICJ).

Bangladeshi Ambassador to Spain Mohammad Sarwar Mahmood made the demands during a bilateral meeting with Spanish Secretary of State for International Cooperation Pilar Cancela Rodriguez at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation in the capital Madrid, Tuesday, October 4, 2022.

Ambassador Sarwar Mahmood also requested Spain’s support for Bangladesh’s bid to recognize March 25 as International Genocide Day, as well as Bangladesh’s bid for the upcoming Human Rights Council elections. United Nations (HRC) and the International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO).

Secretary Rodriguez praised Bangladesh’s national stance on the Rohingya issue and said, “The issue calls for concerted international efforts.”

“Regarding Gambia’s support for the ICJ, Spain will examine the facts in detail and then decide,” she added.

State Secretary Rodriguez assured to present Bangladesh’s request to his government regarding the proposal to recognize the International Genocide Day and support for the candidacy of the ‘HRC’ and ‘ICAO’ elections.

The Ambassador briefed Secretary Rodriguez on Bangladesh’s dramatic march forward led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and said, “Bangladesh is on track to become the 25th largest economy in the world by 2035.”

Sarwar Mahmood said: “This year, Spain and Bangladesh celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. Besides trade, there are still many opportunities to expand relations to new areas of cooperation.

He asked Secretary Rodriguez to use her good offices to facilitate the rapid signing of several bilateral instruments in progress, namely the memorandums of understanding/agreements on youth and sports, cultural exchanges, collaboration between institutes diplomatic training, mutual visa waiver for diplomatic and official passports, maritime education and training and recruitment of Bangladeshi seasonal labor in the Spanish agricultural sector.

In addition, the Ambassador proposed close engagement between Bangladesh and the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) and requested to provide scholarships for young diplomats from Bangladesh to learn the Spanish language.

Pilar Cancela Rodríguez ensured the prompt signing of MoUs and pending agreements between Bangladesh and Spain and all possible assistance to follow up on the proposed proposals.

She said: “Both Bangladesh and Spain are rich in cultural heritage. In addition to strengthening cultural relations, improving scientific and technical cooperation deserves full attention.

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