Hasina starts 4-nation tour next week

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Hindustan Surkhiyan Desk:In addition to visit to United Kingdom and Australia, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is scheduled to visit two more countries, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and New Zealand, for bilateral talks as well as to attend important international events.

Sources at the prime minister’s office said Hasina will begin the four-nation tour with Saudi Arabia on April 15.

They said the PM’s first visit to the Kingdom is at the invitation of Saudi King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to join a 23-country joint military exercise styled “Gulf Shield 1” in Dammam on April 16 which aims to upgrade coordination between the armed forces of 23 countries.

“Gulf Shield 1” is organised by the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Defense with participants from the land, air and naval forces of 23 countries, including Bangladesh, taking part in the month-long joint military exercise from March 18.

Tens of thousands of soldiers have arrived in the Kingdom to join the military exercise, which is the largest in the region in terms of the number of participating countries and the equipment used.

Sheikh Hasina will depart Saudi Arabia for London on April 16 to attend the Commonwealth heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) 2018 in London from April 16-20.  Apart from attending CHOGM, Hasina will hold bilateral meetings with her counterparts from other countries, including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The primie minister will return to Dhaka from London on April 23 and leave for Australia on April 26 to attend the Global Summit of Women – a prestigious international event dubbed “Davos for Women“ – in Sydney from April 26-28.

More than 1000 women from 60 countries, including heads of state and government, will participate the largest annual global meeting of women, described as a business summit that focuses on women’s advancement in the global economy.

On conclusion of summit in Australia on 28, the Prime Minister is expected to leave for New Zealand to on a 3-day bilateral visit.

Officials at the PMO and foreign ministry said they are still preparing the programme schedules of the four visits and the proposed dates for the upcoming visit may slightly change.

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