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Foreign Policy of Bangladesh

What is Foreign Policy?

The foreign policy of a state can be considered as a complex and dynamic political course that it maintains in relation to other states to protect its own national interest. Generally, it is believed that foreign policy is a wheel through which the process of international politics operates. Conceptually, foreign policy is that part of the national policy of a state which relates to the external environment.

Prince Otto Von Bishmark defined foreign policy as, “the extension of domestic policy.”

Henry Kissinger gave a simplistic definition: “Foreign policy begins where domestic policy ends.”

According to Prof. Tailor, “Foreign policy of a sort which will go on so long as are sovereign states”

For an operational definition of foreign policy, we can say that it consists of the action which a state undertakes to achieve its national interest in the global environment.

Objectives of Bangladesh Foreign policy

Self-Preservation

Economic Advancement and Integration

Safeguarding as well as augmenting national power

Upholding National Ideology

Upholding National Prestige

Building national and International cooperation

Developing political harmonies in the world

Ensuring global peace in the world

Others:

Maintenance of Territorial Integrity

Multilateralism

Combating Terrorism

Increasing Remittances and Intellectual Investment

Mobilization International Support for debt reduction

Market expansion

Promotion of Trade

Principles of Bangladesh Foreign Policy:
 
Every state follows some principles upon which the entire foreign policy revolves. As an active member of the United Nations (UN) and Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), Bangladesh follows the principles enshrined in the UN Charter and the principles of NAM. In fact, Bangladesh’s foreign policy has stemmed out of constitutional declaration.

Article 25 of the Bangladesh Constitution stated:

 Bangladesh shall base its international relations on the   principles of respect for national sovereignty, and   equality, non-interference in the internal affairs of other   countries, peaceful settlement of international disputes   and respect for international law and the principles   enunciated in the UN Charter.

The same article also states, “Bangladesh will strive for renunciation of the use of force in international relations and for general and complete disarmament.” The same article further upholds “the right of every person freely to determine and build up its own social, economic, and political system by ways and means of its own free choice and supports the oppressed people’s throughout the world waging a struggle against imperialism, Colonialism, or racism.“

1.Friendship to All, Malice to None

2.Nonintervention in the Internal Matters of Other States

3.Equality and Mutual Benefit

4.Respect for Sovereignty, Territorial Integrity, and Political Independence of Other States

5.To Ensure International Peace and Security

6.Peaceful Co-Existence

žDeterminants of Bangladesh Foreign Policy:

    

Foreign policy of a country is influenced by several factors; these factors are classified into two broad categories, internal and external.

 

Internal Factors

Size (the size of state territory as well as its population)

Geography (includes its fertility, climate, location in relation to other land masses and water ways).

Culture and history.

Economic development.

Social structure (A society which is divided on the basis of wealth religion, regional imbalances etc. can not pursue effective foreign policy.)

Public mood

Technology

National capacity (depends on its military power, its technological advancement and economic development.)

Political organization (quick foreign policy decisions in autocratic system as compared to democratic systems.

Political accountability

Leadership

Role of Press and Media

External Factors

Power structure

International organization

Development of Bangladesh Foreign Policy:

Success of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman

withdrawal of Indian troops from Bangladesh

Reasonable share of the Ganges water by using his personal equation with the Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi

Bangladesh’s participation at the OIC conference in Lahore, tripartite agreement of 1974 involving India, Bangladesh and Pakistan to grant “clemency” to the 195 Pakistani prisoners of war held in India taking into account the appeal of the “Prime Minister of Pakistan to forgive and forget mistakes of the past”.

visit to Washington and membership of the non-aligned movement to cite some of the main achievements of Bangladesh Foreign policy during the formative phase.

Recognition of Bangladesh by a large number of countries including Pakistan, the West, the non-aligned and Muslim countries

serious initiatives to seek recognition of China, Saudi Arabia and Bangladesh entry into the UN.

 

Recent Achievements:

Maritime boundary dispute between Bangladesh and Myanmar settled on 14 march 2012.

Delimitation of the maritime boundary between Bangladesh and India in 2014.

Bangladesh-India Land Boundary Agreement (LBA) passed in Indian parliament and executed.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina  received the South-South Award, Champion of the Earth and many International awards.

Bangladesh’s active role in international organization.

Success on Counter terrorism.

Increase of migration and remittance.

Economic aid and cooperation from China, Japan, World Bank and India.

Challenges of Bangladesh Foreign Policy:

Rise in religious intolerance and other form of extremism

Critical relationships between India-Bangladesh

Inequitable distribution of resources

Mistrust and misunderstandings

One way foreign trade and investment

Shortage of Foreign diplomatic missions in abroad

Inexperienced diplomats

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