Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina arrived here tonight to attend the 15th BRICS Summit to be held on August 22-24 at the invitation of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.
A regular flight (EK-765) of the Emirates Airlines carrying the prime minister and her entourage members landed at the OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg, South Africa, at 8:35pm (local time).
Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs of Republic of South Africa Parks Tau and Bangladesh High Commissioner to South Africa Noor-E Helal Saifur Rahman received the Prime Minister at the airport.
Upon arrival, the Prime Minister was given guard of honour there.
From the airport, she was escorted to her Palace of Residence, the Radission Blu Hotel Sandton here. Sheikh Rehana, the younger daughter of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Prime Minister’s daughter Saima Wazed were accompanying the premier.
Earlier, the flight took off from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA) at 10:30am (BD time) on August 22.
South Africa is hosting the historic 15th summit of BRICS nations — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
It will be the first BRICS summit to be hosted in person since the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent global restrictions.
President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi are expected to attend the summit.
On August 23, the prime minister is expected to deliver a speech as the chief guest at the “Bangladesh Trade and Business Summit”, jointly organized by Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) and Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA).
She will also attend the “Bangladesh Envoys Conference” organized by Bangladesh ambassadors stationed in African countries.
Later, she is scheduled to hold a bilateral meeting with Chinese President XI Jinping at the Hotel Hilton Sandton.
At the evening, the premier will join a cultural programme and “State Banquet” hosted by the current chair of BRICS and the South African president.
On August 24, she will deliver a speech on behalf of Bangladesh as a member of the “New Development Bank of BRICS” at Friends of BRICS Leaders Dialogue (BRICS-Africa Outreach and the BRICS Plus Dialogues) comprising representatives from 70 countries.
The prime minister will also hold several bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the BRICS summit.
At the evening, she will meet the Bangladeshi expatriates living in South Africa.
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen told a news briefing on Sunday that so far nearly 22 countries have shown interest to become members of BRICS and the five original members are trying to reach consensus among them to take new members.
“We don’t know when the new members will join,” he added.
The prime minister is scheduled to leave Johannesburg for Dhaka on August 26 and expected to arrive at home in the morning of August 27 after a brief stopover in the Dubai International Airport.