ANKARA

The Turkish president Wednesday hailed the opening of a new embassy compound in Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka, saying it is a sign of the importance Turkey gives to bilateral relations with Bangladesh.

“We wanted a structure worthy of not only our country, but also Bangladesh. I thank the government and authorities of Bangladesh for their support in the swift completion of the construction works,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a video message.

Visiting Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu inaugurated the new compound on Wednesday evening, the last day of his two-day official tour to the South Asian country.

The video message shown during the inauguration said “this beautiful work is an indication of the importance we attach to relations with Bangladesh.”

Recalling the 100th birth anniversary of the founder of Bangladesh, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Erdogan said opening of this compound lays “specific meaning due to this.”

He praised the continuously strengthening Turkey-Bangladesh relations. “We could not forget the contribution of Bengali Muslims during our [Turkey’s] War of Independence.”

“As Turkey, we were in solidarity with brotherly Bangladesh in their fight against coronavirus pandemic. We believe that the medical aid we delivered during the pandemic, alleviated the burden of the people of Bangladesh to some extent,” he added.

The Turkish president also conveyed his condolences to Bangladeshis who have died of the coronavirus, and expressed speedy recovery for those in treatment.

Praising Bangladesh for its support to Rohingya people, Erdogan said: “We appreciate the humanitarian and conscientious attitude of Bangladesh, which protects the Rohingya Muslims who escaped from the massacre.”

“We continue our humanitarian aid activities to alleviate the suffering of Rohingyas living in camps in Bangladesh and Myanmar. We will continue to support Bangladesh in this regard and to make efforts on all platforms for a fair solution of the issue,” he said.

The Rohingya, described by the UN as the world’s most persecuted people, have faced heightened fears of attack since dozens were killed in communal violence in 2012.

According to the Amnesty International, more than 750,000 Rohingya refugees, mostly women and children, fled Myanmar and crossed into Bangladesh after Myanmar forces launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim community in August 2017, pushing the number of persecuted people taking shelter in Bangladesh above 1.2 million.

*Writing by Merve Aydogan

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