Ex-Bhutan King seeks Sheikh Hasina’s leadership in sub-regional cooperation

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THIMPHU : Former Bhutanese King Jigme Singye Wangchuck has highly lauded the role of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in establishing peace and ensuring development in the region and sought her leadership in various fields of sub-regional cooperation for further uplift of the region.

“There should be your stewardship in various fields of sub-regional
cooperation whether it is in power sector, connectivity, trade and water management … it would definitely change the lot of the people of the region,” Foreign Secretary Md Shahidul Haque quoted the former Bhutanese King as saying while briefing reporters after a meeting between Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Wangchuk.

The meeting between Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Jigme Singye
Wangchuk, the father of incumbent Bhutanese King Jigme Khesar Namgyel, was held at Hotel Le Meridien Thimphu last night.

Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque and PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim jointly briefed reporters on the outcome of the meeting, while PM’s Deputy Press Secretary Nazrul Islam was present.

The former Bhutanese King said that the wisdom of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in steering Bangladesh keeping equal friendship with other countries is exemplary.

“Jigme Singye Wangchuk uttered this praising remark thrice,” the foreign secretary said, adding he also suggested that the other global leaders have many things to learn from such experiences of Sheikh Hasina.

Wangchuk, known as the 4th King of Bhutan, also expressed his surprise as how Sheikh Hasina has been able to do that over the years.

He opined that the sub-regional cooperation would take this sub-region to a new path of potentials where the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is very much significant.

In response, the prime minister mentioning the Father of the Nation
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s philosophy — Friendship to all, malice to none — said that her government has also been pursuing that philosophy and principles.

“Although it was difficult, I have been able to accomplish that
successfully,” the prime minister said and sought cooperation from all
countries of the region in this regard.

The former Bhutanese King along with his family spent some time with the prime minister and her family members who accompanied her during her three-day state visit to Bhutan, the foreign secretary said.

During the meeting, he recalled his first visit to Bangladesh in 1974 at the age of just 17 with his father.

At the meeting, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina gifted the former Bhutanese King a photograph of him along with Bangabandhu which was taken during that tour in 1974.

Wangchuck termed Bangabandhu as a visionary, towering and inspiring leader and also lauded highly the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh

Later, the prime minister went to Royal Palace of incumbent King Jigme Khesar Namgyel at the invitation of the King and joined a dinner there.

The Bhutanese King and the Bangladesh Prime Minister spent some time there exclusively.

Besides, Bhutanese doctors, and students studying in Bangladesh met the premier at her hotel in Thimphu last night.

Sheikh Hasina returned home this morning after wrapping up her three-day state visit to Bhutan to attend the three-day “International Conference on Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders”.

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