PM to embark on visit to KSA, UK Apr 15

12 Apr 2018, 19:03

NTV Online

Dhaka: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will leave here on Sunday (April 15) on a two-nation visit – the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom (UK).

The Prime Minister will visit Dammam, KSA at the invitation of Saudi King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to join the concluding session of a 23-country joint military exercise styled ‘Gulf Shield 1’ which will be held on April 16, reports the UNB.

‘Gulf Shield 1’ was organised by the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Defence with participants from the land, air and naval forces of 23 countries, including Bangladesh, taking part in the month-long joint military exercise that began on March 18.

An 18-member delegation of the Bangladesh Armed Forces is taking part in the exercise.

‘The Prime Minister will go to Dammam directly by a Biman Bangladesh Airlines flight on Sunday afternoon,’ Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali told reporters at a press conference at the Foreign Ministry on Thursday.

She will leave Dammam for London by a special flight on Monday (April 16) to attend the 25th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) 2018 there at the invitation of British Prime Minister Theresa May. Other events on the sidelines will begin on April 15.

The Foreign Minister, State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam and State Minister for Women and Children Affairs Meher Afroze Chumki, among others, will accompany the Prime Minister in the Commonwealth Summit.   

Earlier, British High Commissioner Alison Blake said next week the eyes of the Commonwealth look to the Summit in London which will bring together heads of government representing 53 independent member states.

She said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has agreed to speak at the Women’s Forum event ‘Educate to Empower’, girl’s education being an area where Bangladesh has made strong gains in recent decades.

The Foreign Minister said for the first time Commonwealth Member States have expressed solidarity with Bangladesh on the Rohingya issue.

‘Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is expected to highlight the current situation among the heads of other countries in the Commonwealth Summit,’ he told reporters at the press conference.

Earlier, Canada’s Special Envoy to Myanmar Bob Rae suggested that Canada push the Rohingya issue at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in London and during Canada’s G7 presidency in 2018 to have a solution to the crisis.

The meeting, organisers said, will cement the shared aims of good governance, sustainable growth and inclusive social and economic development, according to the Commonwealth headquarters.

The Commonwealth leaders will come together to reaffirm their common values, address the shared global challenges they face and agree how to work to create a better future for all citizens, particularly the young people, they said.

The Commonwealth is a diverse community of 53 nations that work together to promote prosperity, democracy and peace.

Mahmood Ali will lead the Bangladeshi delegation at the Commonwealth Foreign Ministers’ Meet on April 18.

The Prime Minster will return home on April 23.