British Prime Minister James Callaghan arrived in the Bangladesh capital of Dacca on Wednesday (4 January) on the first stage of a three-nation tour of the Indian subcontinent.
British Prime Minister James Callaghan arrived in the Bangladesh capital of Dacca on Wednesday (4 January) on the first stage of a three-nation tour of the Indian subcontinent. It is the first visit by a British Prime Minister, and has been warmly welcomed by the Bangladeshis, who still remember that Britain was one of the first countries to recognise Bangladesh as an independent country in 1971.
SYNOPSIS: Bangladesh, formerly the eastern wing of Pakistan, is a member of the Commonwealth and many Bangladeshis still value their links with Britain.
President Ziaur Rahman was at Dacca Airport to meet Mr. Callaghan.
The British Prime Minister was accompanied by his wife Audrey, and their first engagement was to be a visit to a simple Bangladesh village after his arrival. Mr. Callaghan and President Zia also had a two-hour meeting during which they discussed political and economic issues, and possible British contributions to projects involving Bangladesh.
A British spokesman said later that the sensitige issue of immigration to Britain was also raised. There are many thousands of Bangladeshis living in Britain, who hold British passports. There has been concern about immigration procedures for their families in Bangladesh, who wish to join them. Mr. Callaghan, however, made no mention of immigration, when speaking later at a banquet on Wednesday night.