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Dhaka Tribune

Foreign Minister: Bangladesh, Qatar to sign 11 deals during Emir's visit

  • A park, and a road would be named after the Emir
  • Emir will arrive on Monday afternoon
Update : 21 Apr 2024, 07:21 PM

Bangladesh and Qatar will sign 11 deals, including six agreements and five MoUs, during Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani's maiden visit, Foreign Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud said.

The Emir will arrive on Monday afternoon on a two-day state visit.

Hasan Mahmud, briefing reporters on Sunday, said the visit would be a milestone in Bangladesh and Qatar relations.

A park and a road would be named after the Emir during the visit.

The agreements include cooperation in the legal field, promotion and protection of mutual investments, transfer of sentenced persons, avoidance of double taxation and prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes in income and maritime transport.

MoUs include cooperation in diplomatic training, cooperation in the fields of sports and youth, cooperation in the field of manpower employment, cooperation in the field of education, higher education and scientific research, cooperation in the field of ports (Mwani Qatar and Chittagong Port Authority), and establishment of the Bangladesh Qatar Joint Business Council.

A milestone visit

Qatar was one of the first countries in the middle-east to recognize Bangladesh as a sovereign State on March 4, 1974 following the 2nd OIC Summit held in February that year.

The foreign minister said with the Emir’s visit, the relations would reach a new height.

“The visit will be considered as a milestone in the bilateral relations,” he said, adding that the existing bilateral relations are very “deep, friendly and multifaceted”. Qatar is one of the Muslim countries that recognized Bangladesh during Bangabandhu's government (in 1974), he noted.

The Emir is scheduled to arrive on Monday afternoon by a special flight while President Mohammed Shahabuddin will receive him at the airport amid state protocol.

Such a high-level visit from Qatar is taking place after 19 years. Emir Shaikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani visited Bangladesh in April, 2005.

This is also the first-ever high-level visit from any country of the Middle-East after the formation of a new government in January this year.

The foreign minister said Qatar is considered an influential country in the Middle East due to its strong economy, geopolitical position and diplomatic activity and mediation.

Replying to a question whether the Palestine-Israel issue will be discussed during the visit, the foreign minister said “naturally this will come up. Killings in Gaza should be stopped. Everyone wants it. We want it.”

He said the energy issue will also come up for discussion with due importance.

Qatar is one of the world's top LNG producers. It is the largest natural gas supplier to Bangladesh. Qatar has signed a deal with US-based Excelerate Energy to supply Bangladesh with natural gas for 15 years.

Meanwhile, Dhaka streets are seen decorated with the photos of the Qatar’s Emir, along with the Bangladesh president and the prime minister ahead of the visit.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina earlier visited Qatar twice in March and May 2023.

In continuation of this, the Emir of Qatar will visit Bangladesh, the foreign minister said.

The Emir will inaugurate the park in Kalshi area of Mirpur under Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) and a road running from Mirpur ECB Chattar to Kalshi Flyover. Both of them will be named after him.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will receive him at her office on Tuesday morning.

They will have tête-à-tête before the formal bilateral talk.

The two leaders will witness signing of cooperation documents and join a joint press meet.

After signing the visitors' book there, the Emir will head for Bangabhaban on Tuesday afternoon where the President will receive him.

President Shahabuddin will host an official lunch in honour of the Emir at Darbar Hall, Bangabhaban.

FM Hasan Mahmud will also have a courtesy meeting with the emir.

The Emir will have a private meeting with selected business community members at his place of residence.

He is scheduled to depart by a special flight at around 6pm Tuesday. The foreign minister will see him off at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport.

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