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Be alert to ME turmoil

PM directs ministers

Published : 17 Apr 2024 10:45 PM | Updated : 18 Apr 2024 05:48 PM

In the wake of Iran-Israel conflict, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday directed her council of ministers to be alert to the Middle East unrest very cautiously and take preparations to face of any of its adverse impacts in Bangladesh. 

The premier came up with the directive at a meeting of the cabinet at her office in the capital after Iran’s direct attack on Israel following the killing of seven Iranian Revolutionary Guards, including two senior generals.

“The Prime Minister has directed all the ministries to observe the Middle East situation keenly and asked the ministers to take preparations on the possible impacts of the fighting,” Cabinet Secretary Mahbub Hossain told reporters at a briefing at Bangladesh Secretariat. 

He said the Prime Minister had also been analysing the situation. 

The Middle East is one of the main regions in the globe for the supply of oil and gas. Experts apprehend that the conflict may take a turn of regional war. 

Amid the conflict, flight operations were suspended in Iraq, Jordan and some other middle-east countries for a day. 

Quoting the premier, the Cabinet Secretary said, “If the conflict persists for a long time, how can we face the situation and what measures can be taken to overcome the situation—you must take preparations in this regard.” 

He said that the premier also advised the council of ministers to keep eyes on the course of actions in the Middle East. 

“If the fight continues for a long time, its impact may be felt on different sectors. The concerned sectors must design a plan after analysis and take preparations to face the situation,” said Hossain, quoting the premier as saying in the meeting.   

When asked, the premier directed which sectors for the preparations, the Cabinet Secretary said, “The premier directed all the ministers to take preparations for their respective ministries. If the crisis emerges, the price of oil may rise. What should be done then---you must devise plans on those issues.”

Amid the escalating tension, CNBC, an American business news channel, on Monday reported that oil prices could surge to $100 per barrel and beyond if renewed fears of a regional war emerge.

Late on Saturday, Iran launched a direct attack on its long-time arch foe Israel for the first time, firing a wave of more than 300 missiles and drones.

Nearly all of them were intercepted by Israel and others, including the United States, Jordan and Britain.

Iran said its attack came in response to a deadly April 1 air strike on Tehran's consulate building in the Syrian capital Damascus that was widely blamed on Israel.

That attack killed seven Iranian Revolutionary Guards, including two senior generals, and prompted Iranian threats of retaliation.

Amid the tension, both Israel and Iran also imposed restrictions on airline traffic, requiring airlines to reroute, thereby extending flight times and adding to fuel costs.

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