Turkey's top diplomat praised Bangladesh on Monday for its efforts to host Rohingya refugees.
In a joint news conference following a meeting with his Bangladeshi counterpart AK Abdul Momen, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu thanked Dhaka for their hosting of millions of Rohingya refugees.
"We know that this is a huge burden and huge responsibility for Bangladesh. More than 4 million refugees are actually hosted by Bangladesh in total, so this is a huge responsibility on their shoulders. We appreciate their efforts," he told reporters in Ankara, Turkey's capital.
Cavusoglu said that Turkey, with its all organizations, stood by the Rohingya people and was helping Bangladesh.
He stressed that the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) also provides significant support to development projects in Bangladesh, besides its efforts for the Rohingya.
Underlining that Ankara also extended a helping hand to Dhaka during the COVID-19 outbreak, he said: "We will send additional medical supplies, including respirators, to Bangladesh at the directives of our president. We will continue to stand by our Bangladeshi brothers and sisters in the upcoming period."
Momen said Bangladesh and Turkey were two brotherly countries and that their relationship was based on historical connections, religious and cultural affinity and common aspirations for a peaceful world and prosperous Muslim world.
He underlined that Turkey stood by Bangladesh in the Rohingya crisis since 2017 and built the first hospital in the Rohingya camps.
Cavusoglu also said the two countries, also member states of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), would continue to work in solidarity in the OIC.
Hosting the Bangladeshi counterpart, Cavusoglu said they also exchanged views on the D-8 Organization for Economic Cooperation and added that they will continue their efforts to strengthen the D-8 and expand the group and even turn it into D-20.
Also pointing out the historical ties, Cavusoglu said: “We cannot forget the support our Bengali brothers gave during the War of Independence. Once again, I express our gratitude.”
He also celebrated the 100th anniversary of the birth of Bangladesh's founding leader, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
On the trade ties, Cavusoglu said that the trade volume between Turkey and Bangladesh was around $1 billion, adding that this should be raised to $2 billion.
In their meeting earlier on Monday, the two officials discussed bilateral relations, trade and investment.
The D-8 organization was launched on June 15, 1997, after Turkey's then-prime minister, Necmettin Erbakan, proposed the creation of an economic group consisting of eight emerging economies from the Muslim world, including Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Turkey.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.