In international diplomacy, Bangabandhu’s famous phrase “Friendship to all, malice towards none” reverberates strongly. Bangladesh, under the direction of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, is a shining example of diplomacy that adheres to this principle. Her diplomatic excellence has uplifted Bangladesh’s Foreign Policy, promoted balanced foreign relations, cooperation over conflict, and global prosperity.
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Under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh’s diplomatic landscape has changed considerably. Since assuming office in 2009, she has diligently worked to reshape the nation’s foreign policy. She has placed a strong emphasis on diplomacy and collaboration from the beginning of her tenure. Her objective was to make Bangladesh a respected and influential global participant. The reign of Hasina has been vital in enhancing Bangladesh’s prominence on the international stage.
A visionary leader with diplomatic excellence on the global stage
Sheikh Hasina has been a prominent and influential leader in the international community, representing Bangladesh and its interests on key international platforms. She has attended numerous events at the highest level, including the BRICS Summit, ASEM Summit, UNGA Session, Climate Vulnerable Forum, D-8 Summit etc. She uses these forums to discuss crucial issues such as climate change, human rights, and peace and security. The prime minister has consistently advocated for a comprehensive plan to resolve the Rohingya refugee crisis and urged the international community to support the Rohingya’s secure return to Myanmar.
In the international arena, Sheikh Hasina has also emerged as a firm supporter of peace. Since the Ukraine-Russia conflict, she has strongly urged the United Nations to take swift and decisive action to end the conflict. Her interest in a swift resolution indicates a profound concern for the welfare of all parties involved.
As the representative of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina has also conferred with numerous world leaders and dignitaries to discuss and cooperate on various bilateral and multilateral issues. She has also strengthened and improved bilateral relations between Bangladesh and several nations, showcasing her diplomatic excellence. Country list includes-
Engagement with major global players
Sheikh Hasina’s engagement with significant global players is one of the hallmarks of her diplomatic excellence. She has conferred with numerous world leaders and dignitaries to strengthen bilateral and multilateral ties between Bangladesh and other nations. Sheikh Hasina has been proactive in her engagement with key international players. She has had fruitful discussions with world leaders including US Vice President Joe Biden, Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Emmanuel Macron, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. These meetings have resulted in enhanced collaboration in areas such as trade, investment, defense, security, infrastructure, energy, and climate change.
She has also maintained cordial relations with world leaders such as Angela Merkel, Boris Johnson, Scott Morrison, and Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. These interactions have facilitated greater cooperation in sectors including commerce, investment, energy, infrastructure, and humanitarian aid.
Enhanced bilateral relations
Sheikh Hasina has excelled in international diplomacy and established robust, mutually beneficial bilateral ties. In addition to enhancing Bangladesh’s global standing, her ability to cultivate these partnerships has opened the door to economic progress and development.
Bangladesh, under Prime Minister’s diplomatic excellence, has established several bilateral dialogues and agreements with countries around the globe to strengthen cooperation in various sectors. Under her leadership, Bangladesh’s relations with its neighbor India have flourished, resulting in significant trade, energy, defense, and cultural agreements. Her tours to nations including China, Russia, UK, UAE, and Japan have led to sustainable collaboration in sectors like infrastructure, trade, investment, and strategic relationships. Her participation in global summits and dedication to multilateral diplomacy are additional indicators of her diplomatic skills.
Even in 2023, Bangladesh continues its commitment to international partnerships with the leadership of Hasina, having signed pivotal agreements with-
The country also engaged in fruitful discussions with the United Kingdom to expand bilateral trade and investments. Moreover, Bangladesh and the US convened their 9th annual bilateral security dialogue in Dhaka as part of their “comprehensive security relationship” this week.
These agreements and dialogues demonstrate Sheikh Hasina’s commitment to advancing Bangladesh’s development agenda and fostering international cooperation.
Balancing regional and global ties
Central to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s diplomatic strategy has been a focus on balancing regional ties. Her leadership has emphasized cultivating strong relationships with neighboring nations and regional powers while maintaining a commitment to peace, stability, and cooperation in South Asia.
Under Hasina’s leadership, Bangladesh has reached important diplomatic benchmarks, including the successful resolution of land and maritime boundary disputes with India. Her skillful diplomacy extends to the management of relations with global powers, most notably China. Meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping have yielded agreements in diverse sectors, including energy, transportation, communication, and agriculture, highlighting Bangladesh’s aspirations.
Sheikh Hasina has maintained a delicate equilibrium in her approach to the Rohingya refugee crisis. While, urging Myanmar to accept back its displaced Rohingya population, the country has maintained diplomatic relations with Naypyitaw. She has been involved with many regional organizations and worked closely with neighboring countries to promote regional stability and development in South Asia. Her strategy demonstrates a dedication to constructive engagement and cooperation in the region.
Under the direction of Hasina, Bangladesh officially announced its “Indo-Pacific Outlook” (IPO) to the world on April 24, 2023. Bangladesh’s adoption of the IPO is consistent with its foreign policy principles, including Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s aforementioned statement, “Friendship to all, malice towards none.” The IPO maintains a neutral and balanced position, promoting peaceful coexistence, cooperation, regional stability, economic growth and most notably ‘inclusiveness’. Bangladesh’s approach to the IPO displays its dedication to responsible foreign policy, adhering to the vision of a sovereign, prosperous, and inclusive nation.
A true representative of Bangladesh
Recently, Sheikh Hasina successfully represented Bangladesh at the ‘World of Work Summit 2023’ in Geneva in July 2023. She effectively conveyed Bangladesh’s commitment to social justice, sustainable development, and international harmony in her speech. Bangladesh and Prime Minister’s active involvement and commitment in world affairs were on full show at last month’s BRICS Summit. Her diplomatic efforts, proposal-focused conversation, and participation with foreign leaders demonstrated Bangladesh’s dedication to global cooperation and advancement. She has been at the forefront of discussing key international issues and promoting Bangladesh in key events including United Nations General Assembly or the celebration ceremony of World Bank’s (WB) 50-year partnership with Bangladesh.
Sheikh Hasina has also adopted the potential of digital diplomacy to strengthen Bangladesh’s foreign policy in an increasingly interconnected world. She has promoted Bangladesh’s culture, achievements, and development initiatives directly to global audiences via social media platforms and digital channels. This strategy enabled her to influence public perception, reach out to the international community, and highlight the country’s progress. It has overall enhanced Bangladesh’s soft power and diplomatic outreach.
In conclusion, Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s diplomatic excellence has uplifted Bangladesh’s Foreign Policy by balancing the foreign relations. Bangladesh’s global standing has been elevated by her visionary leadership on the international stage, strategic partnerships, multilateral diplomacy, and adept handling of regional and global issues. Her dedication to resolving pressing issues demonstrates her commitment to a better future for Bangladesh.