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Dhaka opens new chancery building in Lisbon

Urges Portugal to open mission in Bangladesh

Published : 02 Jul 2022 11:37 PM | Updated : 03 Jul 2022 02:04 PM

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen has formally inaugurated the new Chancery building of the Bangladesh Embassy in Lisbon.

The entrance and premises of the Chancery wore a festive look with decorations befitting the occasion on Friday. Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Portugal Ambassador Álvaro Mendonça e Moura graced the inaugural ceremony as special guest, the foreign ministry said.

 After unveiling the inaugural plaque and cutting the ribbon, the Foreign Minister paid his homage to the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman by placing a floral wreath at his mural portrait lying on the wall of the Chancery building. 

He also inaugurated the ‘Bangabandhu Corner’ at the Chancery. 

The resident Embassy of Bangladesh in Lisbon was first established at a rented building in July 2012. 

The government of Bangladesh bought two properties in 2020 for permanent addresses of the Chancery and Ambassador’s Residence. 

Shifting from rented properties to these own properties took place after their remodelling and renovation. 

 The property for Chancery is a three-storied building, based on a land plot of 2,000 square metre.

 Main features of the property include reception area, auditorium, Bangabandhu Corner, conference room, dining room, wide exhibition room, consular service area with separate entrance, spacious waiting room and fountain, apart from office rooms for officials as well as large open space suitable for hosting big public events.

 This is one of the largest Chancery buildings of Bangladesh in Europe.

Ambassador Tarik Ahsan, Rear Admiral (Retd.) Md. Khurshed Alam, officials from the Foreign Ministry, other embassy officials, Portuguese guests along with leaders and members of the expatriate Bangladesh community were present on the occasion.

Participants of the event assembled at the auditorium of the Chancery to share their feelings on the special day.

Bangladesh expatriates expressed their joy at having a Bangladesh-owned Embassy in Portugal. Portuguese guests congratulated the Bangladesh government on securing a permanent address of Bangladesh in Lisbon.

Ambassador Tarik Ahsan, in his welcome speech, said that permanent Chancery building had been a long-felt need, as workload of our Embassy has increased manifold, due to its increased activities in consular affairs as well as in pursuit of economic, cultural and public diplomacy.

He viewed that the new Chancery building would contribute in a big way to strengthening the bonds of friendship between peoples of Bangladesh and Portugal. He expressed his gratitude to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for her directives to establish the permanent Chancery building and Ambassador’s Residence in Lisbon.

Ambassador Álvaro Mendonça e Moura in his remarks congratulated the Bangladesh government and all the expatriates living in Portugal at this historic moment.

He opined that the friendly relation between Bangladesh and Portugal would be elevated to a higher level with this inauguration of the permanent chancery building in Lisbon.

Dr. Momen in his speech viewed that the Chancery building symbolizes the presence of a transforming Bangladesh that has just celebrated 50 years of its independence last year, and stands poised to enhance its global footprints by surging ahead with its value-based diplomacy in pursuit of its national development aspirations.

He said, “This building is not just a mere construction or enclosure, but bears our message to our friends in Portugal that we value our shared history, that we cherish our present-day human connectivity, and that we look to our shared future with much anticipation and optimism.”

A special prayer was offered on the occasion seeking continued success of the Embassy of Bangladesh in Lisbon as well as peace, progress and prosperity of Bangladesh. The guests were treated with Bangladeshi food

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen requested his Portuguese counterpart Dr João Gomes Cravinho to open a mission in Dhaka as the two countries discussed “elevation of relations to a new height” in the first-ever foreign minister level meeting held in Lisbon on Friday.

The two sides also discussed future cooperation agenda, including state level visits to mark the Golden Jubilee of Bangladesh-Portugal Diplomatic Relations in 2024.

“The Foreign Minister opined that opening a Chancery in Bangladesh would be the most appropriate gesture from the Portuguese side to celebrate that historic moment,” the foreign ministry said in a statement on Saturday.

The two ministers exchanged views on regional and global developments.

Dr Momen requested for the “effective role” of Portugal and EU on international platforms for speedy repatriation of forcibly displaced Rohingyas from Bangladesh to Myanmar.

He also extended an invitation to the Portuguese Foreign Minister to visit Bangladesh, which was “accepted with pleasure”.

The meeting took place on the margin of the ongoing 2nd UN Ocean Conference 2022 jointly hosted by Portugal and Kenya.

Bangladesh Ambassador to Lisbon Tarik  Ahsan, and Secretary of the Maritime Affairs Unit of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Rear Admiral (Retd.) Md Khurshed Alam, were also present, among others.

The two ministers shared the resolve to elevate the bilateral relations between Bangladesh and Portugal to a new height in coming days, the foreign ministry said.

Recalling the historic linkage between Bangladesh and Portugal in the early 16th century, Dr. Momen viewed that the two friendly countries should build on this positive legacy of history to forge stronger cooperation in the present times for their mutual benefit.

He laid emphasis on cooperation in the areas of trade, investment, human resources, blue economy, renewable energy and people-to-people contact.

Mentioning that Bangladesh has maintained a resident Bangladesh Embassy in Lisbon for 10 years and purchased properties in Lisbon recently for permanent location of the Embassy, the Minister urged his Portuguese government to consider establishing a resident Portuguese Mission in Dhaka or, at least, put in place some mechanism for receiving all kinds of visa applications in Dhaka and offered every assistance from Bangladesh side for ensuring periodic consular services provided in Dhaka.

He viewed that this is important for facilitating the joining of students to join their universities in Portugal and reunion of family members of Bangladeshi migrants with their dear ones in Portugal.

He apprised his Portuguese counterpart of Bangladesh’s remarkable progress in socio-economic development, particularly in women empowerment, health and education as well as fast economic growth, under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

He mentioned that the just-inaugurated multi-billion dollar Padma Bridge, built over one of the mightiest rivers of the world entirely with Bangladesh’s own resources, is a symbol of new Bangladesh that is capable of achieving success braving all challenges.

The Portuguese Foreign Minister expressed his government’s desire to upgrade the relationship with Bangladesh.

He took note of the suggestions and assured to work on them, while commending the Bangladeshi migrant community residing in Portugal for their integration in the Portuguese society and contribution to the Portuguese economy.

Two sides also agreed on working together to face the challenges relating to climate changes like rehabilitation of “climates refuges” at bilateral and multilateral levels.

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