Lisbon, Friday, 01 July 2022:
Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dr. A.K. Abdul Momen, M.P. had a bilateral meeting with the Portuguese Foreign Minister Dr. João Gomes Cravinho today (01 July 2022) in Lisbon on the margin of the ongoing 2nd UN Ocean Conference 2022 jointly hosted by Portugal and Kenya.
This was the first bilateral meeting between the two countries at the level of Foreign Ministers. The two Ministers shared the resolve to elevate the bilateral relations between Bangladesh and Portugal to a new height in coming days.
Recalling the historic linkage between Bangladesh and Portugal in the early 16th century, Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dr. A. K. Abdul 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 joining of students to join their universities in Portugal and reunion of family members of Bangladeshi migrants with their dear ones in Portugal.
Bangladesh Minister 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 ethe relation 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 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.
The two sides also discussed future cooperation agenda, including state level visits to mark the Golden Jubilee of Bangladesh-Portugal Diplomatic Relations in 2024. 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 two ministers exchanged views on the regional and global developments. He requested for effective role of Portugal and EU on international platforms for speedy repatriation of forcibly displaced Rohingyas from Bangladesh to Myanmar.
Bangladesh Foreign Minister extended an invitation to the Portuguese Foreign Minister to visit Bangladesh, which was accepted with pleasure.
The Foreign Minister was accompanied by Bangladesh Ambassador to Lisbon Mr. Tarik Ahsan, Secretary of the Maritime Affairs Unit of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Rear Admiral (Retd.) Md. Khurshed Alam, BN and other officials during the meeting.
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