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বাংলা
Dhaka Tribune

Bangladesh rolls out red carpet for French President Macron

  • Macron’s visit signifies a new era in bilateral ties
  • Highlights include aircraft deals, satellite launch
  • AFD offers $200m loan for municipal development
Update : 11 Sep 2023, 11:24 AM

French President Emmanuel Macron received a warm red-carpet welcome on his historic visit to Bangladesh, arriving on Sunday night. 

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina personally greeted President Macron at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport as he touched down at approximately 8:15pm, following his participation in the G20 summit in New Delhi.

A 19-gun salute greeted Macron's arrival, followed by a warm reception at the VVIP Terminal. 

Macron was honored with a guard of honor composed of army, navy, and air force troops. The national anthems of both nations resounded during this ceremony.

Subsequently, Prime Minister Hasina introduced her cabinet and other dignitaries to the French president, while Macron reciprocated by introducing his delegation to the Bangladesh premier.

This visit marks the first time a French president has visited Bangladesh since 1990, when François Mitterrand made the historic trip. 

Both Dhaka and Paris are eager to use Macron’s visit as an opportunity to usher in a new era of bilateral relations.

During his visit, Macron paid his respects to the Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, engaged in a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Hasina, participated in the signing of agreements pertaining to Biman Bangladesh Airlines’ acquisition of aircraft from Airbus, and inaugurated Bangladesh’s inaugural Earth observation satellite.

Upon arrival at the airport, Macron headed directly to the Hotel InterContinental to attend a dinner hosted by the prime minister.

Macron’s schedule includes visiting the private studio of musician and lyricist Rahul Ananda, a member of the singing group “Joler Gaan,” located at the Dhanmondi area. 

French President Emmanuel Macron at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka on Sunday, September 10, 2023. Photo: PMO

On Monday, Macron is set to visit the Prime Minister’s Office for discussions on various bilateral issues. A tête-à-tête meeting is scheduled to follow, as indicated by the Prime Minister’s official agenda.

After signing three significant agreements, including procuring 10 aircraft from Airbus and installing Bangladesh’s first-ever earth observation satellite, both leaders will deliver a joint statement.

One of the agreements will involve France’s development agency, AFD, signing a deal with Bangladesh’s Economic Relations Division (ERD) for a $200 million concessional loan to support the development of 84 municipalities.
Macron’s visit will conclude on Monday afternoon when he is set to depart, and he will be seen off by Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen.

Notably, this year marks the 51st anniversary of diplomatic relations between France and Bangladesh, along with the 50th anniversary of André Malraux’s visit to Bangladesh in April 1973.

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