: Foreign Relations
The Constitution embodies the basic principles of
foreign Policy; that says, the state shall base
its international relations on the principles of
respect for national sovereignty and equality, non-interference
in the internal affairs of other countries, peaceful
settlement of international disputes and respect
for international laws and principles as enunciated
in the United Nations Charter.
Bangladesh pursues a forward-looking foreign policy
based on friendship with all and malice towards
none. As an active member of the UN, the Non-Aligned
Movement, the OIC, the Commonwealth and various
international organizations, Bangladesh promotes
global peace, stability, co-operation and development.
Bangladesh pioneered the formation of SAARC-a regional
co-operation forum comprising seven South Asian
countries-Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal,
Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Bangladesh has vigorously
pursued the cause of enhancing economic co-operation
in the region. One of the outcome has been the formation
and implementation of SAPTA or South Asian Preferential
Since assumption of office in 1996, the present
Government has been pursuing an active and aggressive
foreign policy mainly for economic ends. It is a
matter of pride that as many as eight outstanding
statesmanof the world visited Bangladesh during
the inaugural year of the present Government. Prime
Minister Sheikh Hasina addressed the 51 st session
of the UN General Assembly in October, 1996.
During the World Food Summit held in Rome the same
year, her call to build a poverty-free world earned
praise all over the world. Her chairing the World
Microcredit Summit in Washington D.C. in February,
1997 has been a matter of great honour for Bangladesh.
Among her foreign visits, trips to Saudi Arabia.
China and India were tremendous diplomatic successes.
In the bilateral front, longstanding dispute with
India on sharing the Ganges waters has been tinally
resolved by signing the historic 30-year Water-sharing
Treaty in December, 1996. Other outstanding issues
with neighbouring countries are also being gradually
Efforts for strengthening South Asian Regional Co-operation
through the SAARC got a new momentum due to the
pragmatic role played by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina
at the Male and Colombo summits held in 1997 and
1998 respectively. The scope for regional cooperation
for economic growth has been further widened through
Bangladesh joining the BIMSTEC (Bangladesh, India,
Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand Economic Cooperaton)
and D-8 (Developing eight countries-Bangladesh,
Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan
and Turkey) economic groupings.
Bangladesh has been striving hard to further strengthen
bilateral and sub-regional ties with neighbours,
especially in the fields of trade, commerce, investment,
transit and tourism. These are likely to have positive
impact on the economy. In the backdrop of a glohalised
world economy, Bangladesh cannot afford to lag behind
in seizing opportunities for regional and sub-regional
co-operation for rapid economic growth.
Bangladesh remains firmly committed to the emerging
faith in the prospects for peace, prosperity and
balanced development throughout the world.