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Dhaka Tribune

Dhaka sees many achievements in PM’s Italy visit

  • Meeting was cordial and fruitful
  • Two MoUs signed 
  • PM returned from Rome on Wednesday
  • FM slams media for trying to find ‘dirt’
Update : 27 Jul 2023, 09:16 PM

Foreign Minister Dr Ak Abdul Momen on Thursday said that there had been “many achievements” during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's just-concluded Italy visit, but journalists always tried to find “dirt.”

“The main issue that our prime minister raised was the manpower one. We have so many Bangladeshis living there legally and illegally. She requested her counterpart to regularize them (illegally living) by saying that they are contributing to both your (Italy) and our (Bangladesh) economy,” Dr Momen said while replying to a question on the prime minister's visit at the Foreign Service Academy.

Asked whether the issue of western diplomats' statement on the attack on Ashraful Alom alias Hero Alom was raised during the meetings, the foreign minister said: “We have not said anything about it. It's a place of civility. You (media workers) will always talk about dirt. We didn't talk about it. And you always look for dirt. Your habits are bad.”

He also asked journalists to “stop this nuisance”.

Italy was one of the 13 countries of which diplomats issued a statement on Hero Alom, days after the attack at the end of the Dhaka-17 by-polls on July 17. 

Police arrested all who were connected to the attack. However, the government took the joint statement “undiplomatic” and expressed “displeasure” over the statement on Wednesday. 

The prime minister returned from Rome on Wednesday after a three-day official visit to join the UNFSS+2 conference at the invitation of the United Nations (UN) Secretary General António Guterres.

She also had a bilateral meeting with her Italian counterpart Giorgia Meloni.

Before the bilateral meeting, she was accorded a guard of honor. 

Two Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) - "Cooperation in the Field of Energy" and "Cultural Exchange Programme" - were exchanged in the presence of the two prime ministers.

Three Italian ministers - Agriculture Minister Francesco Lollobrigida, Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi, and Justice Minister Carlo Nordio - also paid a courtesy call on her at the FAO headquarters. 

“I must say the honour they gave to our prime minister was excellent. The meeting was very cordial and fruitful. There are many achievements. We are very happy,” he said. 

The UNFSS+2 conference was held at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) headquarters from July 24 to Wednesday with the theme "Sustainable Food Systems for People, Planet and Prosperity: Diverse Pathways in a Shared Journey.”

The prime minister addressed the official opening of the conference at the FAO headquarters as the special guest speaker on July 24.

She also participated in the plenary session titled "Food Systems and Climate Action.”

She also joined the inaugural ceremony of the Bangladesh-Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Room at FAO headquarters.

FAO Director General Qu Dongyu, President of International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Alvaro Lario and World Food Programme (WFP) Executive Director Cindy Hensley McCain paid a courtesy call on the prime minister.

On July 25, the premier attended the "Regional Envoys Conference" organized with Bangladesh ambassadors stationed in 15 European countries.

The prime minister placed five proposals related to food security and climate change in her speech at the FAO meeting.

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