Dhaka ready to welcome Qatar’s Emir; 2 countries eye broader cooperation

UNB || Shining BD

Published: 4/21/2024 9:50:20 AM

Bangladesh has taken all necessary preparations to welcome Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani who will arrive on Monday on a two-day state visit which might see the signing of nearly a dozen cooperation documents to strengthen ties in multiple areas including trade and investment, officials said.

The government, in a gazette notification, has already declared the emir as a very important person during his two-day visit to Bangladesh. 

Some of the Dhaka streets are seen decorated with the photos of Qatar emir, along with the Bangladesh president and the prime minister ahead of the visit. 

Such a high-level visit, which will last  24 hours, is taking place from the friendly country Qatar nearly after 19 years. 

The then Emir of Qatar Shaikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani visited Bangladesh in April 2005.

Foreign Ministry officials said the agreements and MoUs are likely to be signed on enhancing trade and investment, prisoner exchange, avoidance of double taxation, manpower export, and cooperation in the field of religion and higher education. 

However, the exact number of documents which will be signed between the two countries could not be known.

"The visit will play a significant role in further strengthening the brotherly relations between the two countries," a senior official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs told UNB.

Apart from areas of cooperation on the bilateral front, global issues including Palestine-Israel will also be discussed where Bangladesh will highlight its position, he said. 

In the Antalya Diplomacy Forum in Türkiye last month, Bangladesh stressed the urgent need for a collective effort to end the ongoing genocide in Gaza, holding Israel accountable for committing crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing.

"Bangladesh is in favour of peace, not for war," he said.

President Mohammed Shahabuddin will receive the emir amid a gun salute and a wider ceremony at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport. 

The emir is scheduled to arrive on Monday afternoon by a special flight, an official told UNB. 

On Tuesday morning, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will receive the Qatar emir at her office. 

They will have a tête-à-tête (one-to-one) meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office which will be followed by the bilateral meeting.

The two leaders will witness the signing ceremony 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 of Qatar at Darbar Hall, Bangabhaban.

A road and a park in the capital will be named after the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani.

The emir will inaugurate the park in the Kalshi area of Mirpur under Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) and a road running from Mirpur ECB Chattar to Kalshi Flyover at 3 pm.

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

He is scheduled to depart Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport by a special flight at 6 pm on Tuesday. 

High official of the foreign ministry will see him off at the airport. 

Bangladesh and Qatar want to expand the existing ties with broader cooperation in the areas of manpower, energy, trade and investment following the planned visit of Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to Bangladesh.

In March last year, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had a meeting with the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani on the sidelines of the United Nations Conference on Least Developed Countries (LDC5) in Doha.

She sought increased energy, particularly LNG, from Qatar to meet the energy demands.

The State of Qatar recognised Bangladesh as a sovereign State on March 4, 1974, following the 2nd OIC Summit held in February 1974.

Qatar assures support for Bangladesh's media sector development too.

Bangladesh opened its diplomatic mission in Doha on June 25, 1975. The State of Qatar reciprocated by opening its diplomatic mission in Dhaka in 1982.

Bilateral relations between Bangladesh and Qatar are based on mutual respect, shared values, common religious ground, shared culture, and tradition.

People-to-people contacts bolstered by more than four hundred thousand Bangladeshi workers who are highly appreciated as disciplined and hardworking is one of the dominant features of bilateral relations, according to the MoFA.

Bangladesh and Qatar consider each other brotherly countries and important development partners in materialising Bangladesh’s Vision 2041 and Qatar’s Vision 2030.

Shining BD