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Bangladesh, KSA sign two instruments to expand cooperation

Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia on Wednesday signed two instruments, namely Agreement on Cooperation and Mutual Assistance in Customs Matters and an MoU on Cooperation between the Foreign Service Academies of the two countries, reports UNB.

Bangladesh Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen and Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud signed the instruments after the first-ever Political Consultations between Bangladesh and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia at a hotel in Dhaka, said a press release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

At the consultation, Momen led an 8-member Bangladesh delegation while the Saudi FM led a 6-member delegation.

Both the leaders reaffirmed the bond of enduring ties and friendship existing between the two brotherly countries and expressed satisfaction over the state of bilateral cooperation.

The issues that came up for review and discussion included increased bilateral trade and investment, recruit of skilled manpower, Hajj management, education, health, environment and climate change, ICT and tourism.

The Saudi FM stressed the need to enhance collaboration in trade and investment and stated that some Saudi companies have already invested in some sectors in Bangladesh and some other companies are considering greater engagement in various areas. He sought policy and institutional support from the Bangladesh side.

The Saudi FM also suggested that launching a joint business forum and exchange of business delegation between the two countries could augment bilateral trade and business.

Momen expressed his keenness to scale up the level of engagement from friendship and cooperation and proposed a time-bound roadmap to enhance the relationship. He identified six new areas of engagement for future collaboration

Momen also sought cooperation from the Saudi side for sustainable repatriation and ensuring justice for the forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals. His Saudi counterpart assured him of all support in the resolution of the Rohingya refugee crisis.

The Saudi FM arrived in Dhaka on a brief official visit on Tuesday evening. He then met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at Ganabhaban on Wednesday morning.

The Saudi FM left Dhaka on Wednesday afternoon, wrapping up his less than 24-hour visit. At the airport, the Saudi Minister was received and seen off by the Momen, the foreign secretary and high officials of the Ministry.