On India-China rivalry, Bangladesh PM says ‘we have only one enemy, that is…’

Updated on Sep 04, 2022 03:31 PM IST

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said in an interview that leading countries should always address disputes and differences through dialogue and she won’t interfere “if there is any problem between China and India.”

Bangladesh prime minister Sheikh Hasina.
Bangladesh prime minister Sheikh Hasina.
By | Edited by Kunal Gaurav

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina walked a diplomatic tightrope as she addressed a question on balancing the country’s relationship with India and China. In an interview with ANI ahead of her State visit to India, Hasina said Bangladesh’s foreign policy is “friendship to all, malice to none”. She further stated that the focus should be on improving the lives of people, adding that the countries have only one common enemy – poverty. (Also Read | Sheikh Hasina recounts horrors of family's massacre; lived secretly in Delhi)

Recalling the role of her father Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in shaping Bangladesh’s foreign policy, Hasina said, "Our foreign policy is very clear. Friendship to all, malice to none, which my father, father of the nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, he uttered this in his address in UNO. And we follow his ideology.

“And my point is that we should focus on our people. How to give them a better life? How to improve their life? And I am always saying that we have only one enemy. That is poverty. So let us work together," she added.

(Also Read | ‘Bangladesh is…:’ Sheikh Hasina on recent attacks on Hindu community)

The Bangladesh prime minister stressed that leading countries should always address disputes and differences through dialogue and she won’t interfere with India-China issues.

"And I always feel that yes, if there is any problem which is between China and India but I don't want to put my nose to that. I want development of my country and because India is our next-door neighbour, we have very good relationship. We had many bilateral problems it's true, but we solve many problems... you know that," she said.

Hasina said the priority for Bangladesh was development and it was willing to take any country's help that could offer betterment for its people.

On Rohingya refugees, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said that Bangladesh is reaching out to the international community to ensure they return to their homeland, adding that she feels India could play a major role in resolving the issue.

"Well you know... for us it's a big burden. India is a vast country; you can accommodate but you don't have much. But in our country... we have 1.1 million Rohingya. So well... we are consulting with the international community and also our neighbouring countries, they should also take some steps so that they can go back home," Hasina said.

(With ANI inputs)

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