Emir of Qatar arrives today on a two-day official visit

Le Méridien Hotel, Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport

Bangladesh is all set to accord a warm welcome to Emir of Qatar His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani who will arrive this evening on an important and historic two-day official visit, marking a significant milestone in bilateral relations between Dhaka and Doha. This is the first visit by a Qatar Emir in almost two decades, underscores the growing importance of trade, investment, and diplomatic ties between the two nations. The Emir is paying this important visit at the invitation of Bangladesh President Mohamamed Shahabuddin and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

“A special aircraft, carrying the Emir of Qatar and his entourage members, is scheduled to land at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HISA) at 5 pm tomorrow [today]”, President’s Press Secretary Md Joynal Abedin told state news agency.

Bangladesh President Shahabuddin will welcome His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani through a state ceremony. After the ceremony at the airport, the Emir of Qatar will go to the Le Méridien Hotel along with his entourages. This is the first high-level state visit of a leader of any Middle East country after the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina assumed office on January, 2024.

In the morning of April 23, Foreign Minister Dr. Hasan Mahmud will pay a courtesy call on the Emir of Qatar at Le Méridien Hotel.

Then the Emir of Qatar will have a meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at Shimul room of the prime minister’s office. They will have one-to-one meeting.

Six agreements and five memorandums of understanding (MoUs) are likely to be signed between the two countries during the Dhaka visit.

The agreements are: avoidance of double taxation and tax evasion, cooperation in legal matters, maritime transport, mutual investment development and protection, transfer of convicted persons and establishment of a joint business council.

Apart from these, five memorandums of understanding (MoUs), including those on labor force, higher education and scientific research, and cooperation in diplomatic training are likely to be signed during the visit.

President Shahabuddin will host a lunch in honor of the Emir of Qatar at Durbar Hall of the Bangabhaban on April 23.

The Emir is scheduled to fly for Nepal by a special aircraft in the evening of April 23. Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dr Hassan Mahmoud will see him off at the HISA.

It may be mentioned here that A coordination meeting held at the Prime Minister’s Office on 15th April, chaired by Prime Minister’s principal secretary Tofazzal Hossain Mia, finalized ten agreements and Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) to be signed during the Emir’s visit. These agreements cover a wide range of areas including trade promotion, investment, elimination of double taxation, mutual cooperation on customs, and exchange of prisoners.

Furthermore, potential MoUs are expected to be signed on exporting manpower from Bangladesh to Qatar, cooperation in religious matters, and involvement of Qatari institution Mawani in port management in Bangladesh. Qatar’s interest in managing the port under construction at Matarbari in Maheshkhali is particularly noteworthy. Although Bangladesh has not made a final decision, an MoU with the Chittagong Port Authority is likely to be signed during the visit.

In a humanitarian gesture, Bangladesh is set to sign a prisoner exchange agreement with Qatar, following similar agreements with India and Thailand. Over 100 Bangladeshis are currently serving jail sentences in Qatar, and if the agreement is finalized, these individuals will serve the remainder of their sentences in Bangladesh after returning from Qatar.

Diplomatically, defense cooperation between Bangladesh and Qatar is also on the agenda. Last year, an MoU on defense cooperation was signed between the two countries, and discussions to implement this agreement are expected during the Emir’s visit. The MoU could pave the way for members of the Bangladesh defense forces to work in Qatar.

To commemorate the Emir’s visit and strengthen the longstanding friendly relations between Bangladesh and Qatar, a road and a park in Dhaka will be named after Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani. The Emir will inaugurate the park in the Kalshi area of Mirpur under the Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) and a road running from Mirpur ECB Chattar to Kalshi Flyover tomorrow – April 23.

DNCC Mayor Atiqul Islam highlighted the special bond between Bangladesh and Qatar, emphasizing the fantastic relations that have flourished since Bangladesh’s independence. He pointed out that naming public spaces after foreign leaders is a way to acknowledge and honor the close ties between nations.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s commitment to the development of public spaces was also mentioned. Last year, she declared the construction of a park and playground in Kalshi, allocating 16 bighas of land for this purpose. The new park will offer facilities for cricket and football, youth training programs, walking paths, and children’s play areas, enhancing the quality of life for local residents.

The upcoming state visit of Qatar Emir His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to Dhaka is laden with significance, promising to elevate the Bangladesh-Qatar relationship to new heights. With a focus on trade, investment, defense cooperation, and humanitarian ties, both countries are poised to strengthen their bonds and explore avenues for mutual growth and prosperity.


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