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11 instruments likely to be signed during Qatar Emir’s visit: FM

by The Bangla Herald

Foreign Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud today said 11 bilateral instruments including six agreements and five Memorandum of Understandings (MoU) are likely to be signed during the Qatar Emir’s visit here.

“We expect that this high-level visit will elevate the friendly bilateral ties between Bangladesh and Qatar to new height”, he said.

Hasan was speaking at the curtain raiser press conference at his ministry here marking the state visit of Qatar Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to Bangladesh from April 22 to 23.

This is the first high-level state visit from the Middle-East countries after the formation of this government in January last led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

The six agreements are – the agreement on avoidance of double taxation and fiscal evasion, cooperation in legal matters, sea carriage, mutual investment promotion and protection, exchange of sentenced personnel and formation of a joint business council.

Five MoUs are – MoUs on manpower, port management, higher education and scientific research, cooperation in youth and sports, and cooperation in diplomatic training.

The foreign minister said the bilateral relations between the two countries have reached a strong position through the visit of the Prime Minister to Qatar twice in March and May last year and in continuation of this, the Qatar Emir will visit Bangladesh.

During the Emir’s visit, Hasan said there will be a discussion regarding the purchase of fuel from Qatar.

“This visit will play an important role in the energy mix and energy security of Bangladesh,” he added.

He also said Bangladesh is seeking increased Qatari investment here and investors will be given land in Special Economic Zones (SEZ) of Bangladesh if they are interested.

Dhaka will also call on Qatar for importing leather goods and pharmaceutical products along with Ready Made Garments (RMG) from Bangladesh, he continued.

The foreign minister said Dhaka will also urge to recruit more Bangladeshi manpower in Qatar that currently hosts four lakh expatriate Bangladeshis.

He said the current situation in Middle East and crime against humanity in Gaza committing by Israel are also likely to be discussed.

Bangladesh is intending to expand bilateral cooperation in the sectors of trade, investment, employment opportunities, energy, aviation, agriculture, food security, and climate change with Qatar, he added.

Hasan said the existing bilateral relations between Bangladesh and Qatar are very deep, friendly and multifaceted.

The State of Qatar was one of the Muslim countries that recognized Bangladesh as a sovereign state in 1974, during the government of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

Bangladesh has completed all necessary preparations to welcome the Qatar’s Amir.

This high-level visit from Qatar to Bangladesh is taking place, nearly 19 years after the last tour of the then Emir of the country Shaikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani in 2005.

Ahead of the visit, many capital’s streets are decorated with the portraits of Qatar Emir, along with Bangladesh’s President and Prime Minister.

The Emir is scheduled to arrive tomorrow afternoon by a special flight.

President Mohammed Shahabuddin will receive the Emir amid gun salute and a wider ceremony at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA).

On Tuesday morning, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will receive the Qatari Emir at her office.

The two leaders will witness the signing ceremony of cooperation documents and join a joint press meet.

After signing the visitors’ book there, the Emir will head for Bangabhaban where the president will receive him.

President Shahabuddin will host an official lunch in honour of the Emir of Qatar at Bangabhaban Darbar Hall.

Foreign Minister Hasan Mahmud will also have a courtesy meeting with the Emir.

A road and a park in the capital will be named after the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani.

The Emir will inaugurate the park in the Kalshi area of Mirpur under Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) and a road running from Mirpur ECB Chattar to Kalshi Flyover.

The Emir will have a private meeting with the selected business community members at his place of residence.

He is scheduled to depart from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport by a special flight at 6 pm on Tuesday.

The foreign minister will see him off at the HSIA.

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