Speech

Foreign Secretary's press briefing in Bangladesh, February 2018

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson welcomed the Bangladesh government's commitment to the voluntary return for the Rohingya community when conditions are right.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson's Press briefing in Bangladesh

The British Foreign Secretary and Bangladesh Foreign Minister held a joint press briefing after their meeting in Dhaka. The Foreign Secretary discussed the ongoing Rohingya crisis and welcomed the Government of Bangladesh’s commitment to the voluntary, safe and dignified return for the Rohingya community when the conditions are right.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson’s transcript

Thank you your Excellency, it’s wonderful to be here in Bangladesh on my first visit. This is a relationship that is incredibly important for the UK. It is hard to overstate the cultural, commercial and personal links between Britain and Bangladesh. We are proud to have I think 500,000 people of Bangladeshi origin in our country and I want to convey an important message, which is that once we are leaving the European Union, we will want to intensify our bilateral relations and do more in trade together, as well as of course trading with the rest of the Europe.

I also want to congratulate Bangladesh and the people and the government of Bangladesh on the way they have handled one of the biggest humanitarian crisis we have seen in the last few decades. I think that the government of Bangladesh has shown immense compassion, speed and mercy in dealing with a challenge that I think any government would have found very daunting indeed. I am going tomorrow to Cox’s Bazar to look at the camps, to look at some of the contribution that the UK is able to make to helping with that extraordinary Bangladeshi humanitarian effort.

And the third thing I want to say is that, we had an excellent meeting, I thought, with the Prime Minister. It went, it was very long and very friendly, and we discussed all the issues of cooperation between the UK and Bangladesh, the success of Bangladesh, as it rises up inexorably and the population grows more successful, we also discussed the importance of a free press and free, fair and democratic elections.

And I am delighted that the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will be coming to our Commonwealth Summit in April where she is going to be majoring on female education, 12 years of quality female education which is again one of the areas where Bangladesh has got an absolutely outstanding track record.

So, thank you again for having me along today, see you all soon!

Published 14 February 2018