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PM Sheikh Hasina’s Qatar, Japan, India visits on cards

Published : 02 Feb 2023 10:06 PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has a busy foreign travel schedule in coming months as she is expected to visit Qatar, Japan and India by September.

Foreign ministry’s spokesperson Seheli Sabrin at the first weekly briefing on Thursday said the Prime Minister is likely to participate in the fifth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC5) to be held in Doha, the capital city of Qatar, on March 5-9 and to visit India on Sep 9-10 to attend the G-20 summit.

She said they were working on a new date for the prime minister to visit Japan. She was scheduled to visit from November 29 to December 1.

 India as a President of the G20 made Bangladesh a ‘guest country’.

Spokesperson Seheli Sabrin said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi invited his counterpart to attend the summit.

Bangladesh is among the nine guest countries invited by India as the President of the G20 summit to be held in New Delhi in September 2023.

Before the summit, there will be over 200 meetings related to G20 across India.

Indian High Commissioner Pranay Verma earlier sought active participation of Bangladesh throughout the year.

The members of the G20 are: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Türkiye, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union.

 India assumes the Presidency of G20 for one year from December this year.

 On her Doha visit, the spokesperson said an inter-ministerial meeting, chaired by Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen, was held on January 30 regarding the Prime Minister’s participation in the LDC5.

 According to the UN, the LDC5 is a once-in-a-decade opportunity to accelerate sustainable development in the places where international assistance is needed the most - and to tap the full potential of the Least Developed Countries helping them make progress on the road to prosperity.

 Over five days of the LDC5 Conference in Doha, world leaders will gather with the private sector, civil society, parliamentarians, and young people to advance new ideas, raise new pledges of support, and spur delivery on agreed commitments, through the Doha Programme of Action.

 At the Conference, according to the UN, it is expected that specific initiatives and concrete deliverables will be announced that will address LDC-specific challenges.

 The Conference will feature plenary sessions, parallel high-level thematic roundtables, and a series of parallel and side events on various thematic priorities of the DPoA.

 A Summit level meeting of the LDC Group, chaired by the President of Malawi, will be held on the day before the Conference.

 A commemoration event on the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Group of LDCs will be held after the opening session on 5 March 2023.

 There will also be dedicated events for the Private Sector, CSOs, Youth, Parliamentarians and South-South tracks on the margins of the Conference.

 During the briefing, the spokesperson, Sabrin, also touched the issues related to Bangladesh’s relations with the Latin American countries including the upcoming visit of Argentine foreign minister on February 27, the visit of Malaysian home minister from February 4 to 5, visit of Queen Mathilde of the Belgians on February 6-8 as a SDG advocate of the UN Secretary General, and the Rohingya issue, among others. 

Earlier on January 30, the Foreign Secretary announced that Seheli Sabrin, director general of the public diplomacy wing, had been given the role of the ministry’s spokesperson as they decided to brief the media every Thursday.

 Seheli Sabrin is an officer of the 24th BCS Foreign Affairs. In her career, she served in different Bangladesh missions including Australia and Indonesia. Before taking the charge of public diplomacy, she served as the director general of the consular and welfare wing of the ministry.

 She studied economics from the University of Dhaka. She also completed a degree on sustainable development from the University of Sussex, UK with distinction.

 The briefing will be held at 3pm.