DHAKA - President Md. Abdul Hamid today condemned the illegal occupation and settlement of Israel in Palestine, expecting it to get over the barriers to become an independent state.
"Bangladesh condemned the Israeli illegal occupation and settlement in Palestine and Arab lands. We want Palestine to be an independent state," he said when Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas called on President Abdul Hamid at Bangabhaban this evening.
Welcoming the Palestine counterpart in Bangladesh and thanked the people of his country for their struggle of independent, Hamid said Bangladesh and Palestine have longstanding and historical relations.
President Hamid recalled the historical good relations between Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and former Palestine President and Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Yasser Arafat with due respect. He said Bangabandhu had always extended his support to the demand of Palestinians in establishing an independent country.
Recalling the lifelong struggle of Yasser Arafat for realizing the rights of Palestinians, the Bangladesh President thanked the Palestine government for translating the book of Bangabandhu entitled "Asmapta Attojibpni" into Arabic language.
The President hoped that the existing bilateral relations between Bangladesh and Palestine would further be extended in the days to come.
Hamid said Bangladesh will continue offering scholarships for Palestinian students for higher studies and different training course to the Palestinians Armed Forces Officials.
During the meeting, Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas expressed his gratitude to Bangladeshi people for providing heartfelt support and cooperation favouring the sentiment and demands of the people of the Palestine.
He also lauded the stance of the Bangladesh Government and its people on the Israeli occupation and settlement in Palestine.
Abbas hoped that bilateral relations and mutual cooperation between Palestine and Bangladesh will be strengthened further.
Earlier, President Hamid greeted Palestine President Abbas with bouquet on his arrival at Bangabhaban.
Foreign Minister AH Mahood Ali, Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque and senior officials of Bangabhaban and Foreign Ministry were, among others, present on the occasion.
Later, President Hamid hosted a cultural function followed by a dinner, in honour of visiting Palestine President at Darbar Hall.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Jatiya Sangsad Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, Chief Justice S K Sinha, Former President HM Ershad, Leader of the Opposition Raushon Ershad, Finance Minister AMA Muhith, Palestine Foreign Minister Dr Riad NA Malki and Palestine Chief Justice Mahmoud SA Alhabbash, among others, attended the dinner.