TL-Bangladesh will cooperate in combating climate change and food insecurity

TL-Bangladesh will cooperate in combating climate change and food insecurity

Photo Tatoli/António Daciparu

DILI, 29 august 2023 (TATOLI) – Prime Minister of Timor-Leste, Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão, had a bilateral meeting with the Foreign Minister of Bangladesh, Abdul Momen, at the Government Palace, where both leaders discussed the importance of bilateral cooperation between the two countries to combat climate change and food insecurity.

After the meeting, Minister Momen told reporters that Bangladesh is committed to sharing its knowledge and expertise with Timor-Leste to combat climate change and food insecurity.

We would like to share our expertise with the Timor-Leste government so that we can achieve our goal of a prosperous world. One issue which is disturbing us a lot is climate change. Climate change is creating a lot of problems for Bangladesh, although our contribution to global warming is minimal, the same as Timor-Leste. So, we have to work together on these issues,” Momen said at the Government Palace, on tuesday. 

He said the war in Ukraine has affected global food security, leaving many women and children around the world to suffer more.

“We worried about food security since the Ukraine war. We will be working with Timor-Leste so that we can help improve the food security problem. We don’t want to see more war because the children and women suffered the most and we don’t want that. We would like to set up foreign office consultations because we would like to discuss and resolve our issues,” he explained. 

In order to strengthen the bilateral ties between the two countries, Minister Momen invited Prime Minister Gusmão to visit Bangladesh in the future: “I am looking forward to his visit. Long live Bangladesh-Timor-Leste Friendship.” 

Gusmão expressed his deep appreciation for Minister Momen’s visit and answered “yes” to Momen’s invitation to visit Bangladesh one day: “Thank you very much for coming to Timor-Leste.”

Of course, during the meeting, Minister Momen opened the door to us to know better the improvement in many areas and sectors in Bangladesh. But I was astonished because I learned for the first time that this small country (Bangladesh) has a total of 170 million people but it succeeded in being a dynamic country in economy, human resources, and in many other areas. What they are doing in Bangladesh is a very good example for Timor-Leste and we have to learn from Bangladesh,” said Gusmão. 

Bangladesh, the third biggest rice-producing country in the world, produces nearly 40 million tons of rice annually to feed its 170 million people, with 130 lab-developed high-yielding varieties.

In addition, Minister Momen said that Bangladesh has successfully reduced extreme poverty. 

Bangladesh has made impressive progress in reducing poverty. In 2000, 48.9% of Bangladeshis were counted as poor using the upper poverty line; by 2022 this stood at 18.7%. 

Before leaving the Government Palace, Minister Momen and his delegation expressed their contentment on having the opportunity to meet Prime Minister Gusmão in person: “We know the history of Timor-Leste and its struggle over the years. We are so delighted and gratified to meet the Prime Minister.” 

Momen admired Gusmão’s sacrifices and dedication to Timor-Leste’s independence: “We think he is a legend and an icon and we are delighted to meet such a great personality.”


Journalist: Filomeno Martins 

Editor: Nelia Borges


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