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Dhaka Tribune

Momen-Raab talks in London soon with focus on boosting ties

The foreign minister is set to visit the UK, Switzerland and the Netherlands

Update : 28 Aug 2021, 12:16 AM

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen will have a meeting with his British counterpart Dominic Raab in London in between his visit to Switzerland and the Netherlands, and discuss ways to further strengthen the relations between the two Commonwealth countries -- Bangladesh and the United Kingdom.

Dr Momen said Bangladesh High Commissioner in London Saida Muna Tasneem informed him that there has been no meeting with the British Foreign Minister for a long time and Dominic Raab has already been given an appointment to sit in a meeting in London.

“I’ll also have a separate meeting with Alok Sharma (president of the United Nations Climate Change Conference or COP26) in London,” the foreign minister told UNB.

“Things are being finalized,” he said, mentioning that he will visit London in between his visit to Switzerland and the Netherlands.

Dr Momen will also attend programmes like a meeting with businesspeople during his busy stay in London, a senior official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs told UNB.

Also Read - Vaccine sharing: Dhaka wants EU to be more generous

He will leave Dhaka on Sunday morning beginning his tri-nation visit, said the official. 

The UK will host the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow from October 31 to November 12.

Apart from the bilateral issues, vaccine cooperation and removing Bangladesh from the red list (for entering England amid the pandemic) are likely to be discussed, said a diplomatic source.

Bangladesh finds no justified reason to see it on the red list as the Covid-19 situation is not that worse compared to other countries which are not on the red list, said an official.

If anyone from a red-listed country enters the UK, he or she must book a quarantine hotel and coronavirus (Covid-19) tests which are quite expensive.

Strategic Dialogue

On September 9, Bangladesh and the United Kingdom will hold the fourth Strategic Dialogue in London and discuss the entire gamut of bilateral relations covering political relations, economic and development partnership, security and defence cooperation, and exchanges on current global issues.

Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen, who is scheduled to reach London on September 8, will lead the Bangladesh delegation while Sir Philip Robert Barton KCMG OBE, Permanent Under-Secretary at the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) will lead the UK side at the dialogue.

Also Read - Dhaka to London: Look in the mirror before advising Bangladesh

The third Bangladesh-UK Strategic Dialogue was held in Dhaka on 24 April 2019 and it takes place once every two years.

Engagements in Switzerland, Netherland

In Geneva, Dr Momen will attend the Asia-Pacific regional review meeting on the implementation of the Istanbul Programme of Action in preparation for the fifth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (UNLDC-5) from August 30 to September 2. 

Dr Momen said Bangladesh and Canada will co-chair the event in Geneva.

The Fifth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC5) will be held in Doha on January 23-27, 2022.

In the Netherlands, Dr Momen said he will attend the board meeting of the Global Centre on Adaptation apart from his other engagements there.

There will be another event on “How can floating development help adaptation to climate change?” which will bring together Dutch experts with experts on vulnerable housing in the South to discuss how to upscale innovative floating development adaptation solutions.

The foreign minister is likely to return home on September 8. 

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