19 July 2018, Thu, 10:15

Germany wants to see ‘minimum democratic standards’ in Bangladesh elections

German federal foreign office state minister Niels Annen will have “political talks” with Bangladesh leadership on Thursday as Germany wants to see the country meets “minimum democratic standards” in the next national elections.

While in Dhaka, the German minister will hold meetings with foreign minister AH Mahmood Ali and prime minister Sheikh Hasina, reports UNB.

Among the topics of foreign and regional affairs under discussion, particular focus will be on the Rohingya crisis, said the German foreign ministry on Wednesday.

Prior to his arrival in Dhaka on Wednesday afternoon, Annen said, “On my first official trip to Dhaka, we will be talking about the response to the Rohingya crisis, for which Bangladesh deserves our respect and to which Germany is also providing important assistance.”

He said he will also use his discussions with unions and textile buyers to call for sustainable and humane working conditions in the local textile industry.

The state minister, who is now on a three-day visit, will meet members of the political opposition and hold talks with representatives of civil society.

“His intention is to hear about current developments in the human rights situation in Bangladesh,” reads the German foreign ministry statement.

Germany is providing humanitarian assistance and stabilisation projects to support Bangladesh, which has taken in more than a million Rohingyas fleeing Myanmar.

Annen will therefore also meet representatives of international aid organisations and the German Red Cross, it said.

During this visit, an agreement will be signed on the production and use of biometric e-passports in Bangladesh - the largest-ever German-Bangladeshi business project.

Germany has been one of the most important consumers of clothing made in Bangladesh for some years, and it is calling for humane standards of occupational health and safety and other labour rights for the millions, most of them women, who work in the sector.

Before arrival in Dhaka, the German minister visited New Delhi and held talks on various issues with Indian leaders.