The Policy Times, Dhaka Bureau :
Bangladesh State Minister For Foreign Affairs Md. Shahriar Alam holds bilateral talks with his Saudi counterpart Adel Al-Jubeir at the latter’s Office in Riyadh yesterday (7th March Sunday).
Saudi State Minister congratulated Bangladesh at its 50th anniversary of independence. He highly praised the remarkable sustained economic growth of Bangladesh carried out in the last decade under the able leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. He continued, the recent UN decision to graduate Bangladesh from the LDC category to the middle-income country is a testimony of this success. He fondly remembered the historic ties between these two countries and the valued contribution of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to its independence and laying the foundation of Golden Bengal.
Bangladesh State Minister Shahriar Alam mentioned that under the visionary leadership of both countries, the relations have elevated to a strategic level. For advancing from this point, he emphasized exploring further avenues of cooperation on international issues based on common interest and goals and economic ties.
Mr. Shahriar Alam reiterated the Bangladesh government’s unwavering support to the Saudi side and expressed solidarity condemning the recent cowardly attacks on Houthis. Adel Al-Jubeir appreciated Bangladesh’s position on the Yemen issue.
Bangladesh State Minister stressed regular Business to Business dialogue to explore bilateral trade and investment opportunities in Bangladesh. He urged on signing an MoU between the Public-Private Partnership Authority of Bangladesh and the competent Saudi authority, which would enable Saudi investors to invest in Bangladesh on PPP projects. Saudi State Minister Adel Jubeir replied in positive stressing on potential Saudi investors to invest in a vibrant economy like Bangladesh and hoped they will soon sort out the MoU issue regarding PPP.
On a proposal from the Bangladesh State Minister for a joint venture in contract farming in suitable African countries where Bangladesh can provide its expertise in agriculture and manpower, Saudi State Minister welcomed the proposal.
Shahriar Alam expressed his government’s deep gratitude to the Saudi King and Crown Prince for allowing all the foreign residents irrespective of their legal status for access to free COVID treatment and inoculation, which has saved many lives of expatriates including the Bangladesh community living in the Kingdom.
In reply to a request, State Minister Jubeir assured of considering and interim arrangement for the irregular Bangladesh expatriates to have access to health facilities and employment. State Minister Alam also requested to reappoint a cultural attache at the Saudi Embassy in Dhaka, so the service seekers’ would not need to send their documents to New Delhi for attestation and the Saudi side took note of that.
Both the State Minister agreed to expedite the pending Agreements and MoUs and to hold the first Foreign Office Consultation where the whole gamut of bilateral relationship could be discussed.
Early in the morning, State Minister Shahriar Alam laid a wreath at the portrait of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and attend a webinar to mark the historic 7th March. In the evening, he attended another international webinar on ‘historic 7th March speech by Bangabandhu focusing on historical and political perspective’.
Shahriar Alam is in the Kingdom in his 3-day official visit there. The meeting was held in a very cordial atmosphere followed by a lunch and walking tour in the Foreign Office building. State Minister Alam would be meeting the OIC Secretary-General today at his office in Jeddah to discuss concern issues.