Bangladesh Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmud Ali, MP attended the 24th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) in Manila today. The Hon’ble Foreign Minister is in Manila on a two-day official visit to attend the annual Ministerial Meeting of the ARF, a regional security platform of 28 members.
The meeting discussed various issues of regional and global security including the issue of North Korea’s recent long- ranged missile test and the situation of South China Sea. In his interventions, the Hon’ble Minister reflected Bangladesh’s commitment to peace and various security issues like curbing terrorism, illegal migration and climate change.
In the morning, Hon’ble Foreign Minister had a bilateral meeting with the State Minister of Sri Lanka and both sides promised to cooperate and work together in different regional forums especially in the framework of SAARC and BIMSTEC. The Sri Lankan State Minister showed interest for Bangladesh private sectors’ investment in the Pharmaceuticals and Agro based sectors. The Sri Lankan Minister hoped that two countries would be able to finalize the FTA Soon.
Hon’ble Minister also had a bilateral meeting with his host counterpart Mr. Alan Cayetano, the Secretary of Department of Foreign Affairs. Two Ministers discussed the possibilities and ways of further deepening the cooperation between the two countries, the possibility to start air flight between Dhaka and Manila. Bangladesh Minister thanked Secretary Caeytano for the support extended by the Filipino government for recovering of the heist fund of Bangladesh Bank and requested to form an inter-agency task force to coordinate the recovery of the heist fund. Secretary Cayetano assured the Hon’ble Foreign Minister of his government’s full support. The Bangladesh Foreign Minister invited the Filipino Foreign Minister to attend the OIC Ministerial Meeting to be hosted by Bangladesh next year.
The Hon’ble Minister also met the Chinese Foreign Minister, Russian Foreign Minister, Indonesian Foreign Minister and Foreign Minister of East Timor on the side-line.
Hon’ble Foreign Minister will attend the 50th anniversary celebration of ASEAN tomorrow.