Macron renders line from Bangladesh’s National Anthem, says France has no intention to bully partners

French President Emmanuel Macron has expressed his country's unwavering commitment to support Bangladesh in its efforts to combat climate change.

Macron praised Bangladesh's leadership in addressing the climate crisis, emphasizing that the nation could rely on France's full support.

He stated, "I want to praise your leadership on this issue. And you can count on France, and our full support, in order to convince the countries mainly responsible for the emission of greenhouse gasses, but also to help you about that. France will be, again, on your side."

Macron also proposed a way that does not involve bullying or unsustainable schemes.

"In a region facing New Imperialism, we want to propose the third way, with no intention to bully our partners or to leave them to unsustainable schemes," the French president said.

Macron made the remarks last night at a banquet hosted by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in his honour at the InterContinental Dhaka.

During his speech, the French president also rendered a line from Bangladesh's National Anthem: "Chirodin tomar akash, tomar batash, amar praane bajaye banshi."

Clip containing Macron's rendering of the line from "Amar Shonar Bangla" is making the rounds on social media and winning hearts and minds of netizens.

Highlighting the historical significance of his visit, Macron noted, "More than three decades after François Mitterrand's visit, we are opening a new page of our longstanding relationship. Thank you so much for honouring France and for honouring the entire French delegation with your invitation."

The prime minister welcomed Macron at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport on his arrival from New Delhi around 8:30 pm last night.

At the banquet last night, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh and France are opening up new areas of cooperation in strategic assets and advanced technologies.

"France has been our trusted development partner since our independence. We have developed a robust trade partnership with focus on responsible business conduct. We are opening up new areas of cooperation in strategic assets and advanced technologies," she said.

Hasina said she is confident that the bilateral relations can move to strategic engagements for the shared prosperity for all in the Indo-Pacific and beyond.

"Our partnership can be a meaningful force to address the multiple crises of wars, climate change and cost-of-living that our world is facing," she said.

The PM recalled the warm hospitality she received at the Elysee Palace (the official residence of the President of the French Republic) during her visit to France in November 2021.

"The people of Bangladesh join me in welcoming you and your delegation here," she said, greeting the French president.

"France holds a special place in our hearts and imagination," said Hasina, adding that her father, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, was greatly inspired by the spirit of the French Revolution.

She said Bangabandhu dedicated his life to promoting the values of liberty, equality and fraternity in his fight for self-determination. This was also reflected in his historic speech of March 7, 1971.

"Our struggle this time is for our liberation. Our struggle this time is for independence," she quoted Bangabandhu.

She admired Macron for the many bold reforms he has undertaken in France. "We find you to be a breath of fresh air in international politics. Your push for strategic autonomy largely aligns with our own foreign policy dictum 'Friendship to all, malice towards none' - given to us by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman," she said.

On a lighter note, Hasina said, "We have arranged for you to have a taste of our unique kacchi biryani. Both our nations are extremely proud of our cuisine, culture and linguistic heritage. It is time to promote further interface and fusion between our two cultures to bring our two peoples closer to each other."

"May I propose a toast to your health with another delicacy of ours - juice made of Amra - a popular local fruit," she said.

President Macron, the first French president to visit Bangladesh in 33 years, arrived here on Sunday evening.

The two leaders will hold a summit meeting at the Prime Minister's Office on Monday morning. Also on Monday they are expected to witness the signing of a couple of bilateral instruments and hold a joint press briefing.

Macron will pay homage to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at the Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi 32 on Monday morning.

The French president is scheduled to leave Dhaka at 2 pm on Monday.

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