Foreign secretary: No discussion on new loan during Chinese FM's visit

The Chinese foreign minister is likely to meet Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday morning

Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen has said taking a new loan from China will not be a part of their agenda during Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi's upcoming Bangladesh visit.

"This time, the issue of taking loan afresh isn't there at least," he said on Wednesday when a reporter wanted to know whether Bangladesh is going to take a loan from China again.

Asked what message this visit carries amid the crisis in various parts of the world, the foreign secretary said it will be known once the Chinese foreign minister comes. "We are working on the visit. Things are yet to be finalized."

He reiterated that the visit is part of the Chinese side's routine visit to the region and also it is an opportunity to review the existing engagements between the two countries.

"It can't be said (there's) urgency (from the Chinese side). Since he will be visiting this region, he expressed the desire to come here if we can give him time. We are looking into the timings," he said earlier when a reporter wanted to know why there was so much urgency from the Chinese side.

State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam on Tuesday said time, arrival and departure have not been confirmed yet.

The state minister said he does not want to shed any doubt but there is nothing to say in detail about the visit yet. "You will get to know," said, adding that things will be cleared within the next 48 hours.

Shahriar also suggested not bringing any third country into a bilateral context and discussion.

Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen is expected to return home on August 6 evening after attending the Asean Regional Forum meeting during August 5-6 in Cambodia.

In January 2017, Wang Yi had an hour-long stopover in Dhaka. "This time, he will be coming for a longer period," said the foreign secretary.

The Chinese foreign minister is likely to meet Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday morning apart from a bilateral meeting with his Bangladesh counterpart Momen to discuss bilateral, regional and global issues.

Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Li Jiming met Momen recently at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and discussed various issues of mutual interest, including the proposed visit of the Chinese foreign minister.

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