Vol. 4 Num 237 Sat. January 24, 2004  
Front Page

Khaleda-Megawati talks in Jakarta today

Prime Minister Khaleda Zia arrived in Jakarta yesterday evening on a three-day visit, aimed at boosting cooperation between the two Muslim nations, Indonesia's foreign ministry said.

"Indonesia and Bangladesh have many similar positions on international issues," spokesman Marty Natalegawa told reporters.

Khaleda will hold official talks with President Megawati Soekarnoputri at Istana Merdeka State Palace in Jakarta today.

"The Bangladesh prime minister will discuss various bilateral issues such as trade and other issues of common concern," Marty told The Jakarta Post.

Marty said Megawati and Khaleda would also discuss cooperation among members of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC).

"This will be a very important visit, not just for the two countries, but also for the region," he said.

Megawati visited Dhaka in June last year for the first time as president, although she visited the country back in 2000 as vice-president.

The two leaders had several meetings in the past years in several international events such as the United Nations General Assembly session in September 2003 and before that in Kuala Lumpur on the sidelines of the Non-Aligned Movement Summit in February.

In 2001-2002, Bangladeshi exports to Indonesia stood at $5.6 million, while imports were worth $173.6 million. There is currently no Indonesian investment in Bangladesh.

The two leaders are expected to sign several memoranda of understanding on trade, education, culture, and research and technology.

Khaleda is also scheduled to hold meetings with Vice President Hamzah Haz and the Bangladesh community here.

She will leave Jakarta for Brunei Darussalam tomorrow.

Khaleda Zia(L) and Megawati(R)