Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen and British Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs Dominic Raab are scheduled to hold their official meeting in London on Thursday to chart a post-Brexit and post-Covid new strategic partnership vision.
"The official bilateral talks will be a historic occasion as the Bangladesh and UK Foreign Ministers will be meeting in London for the first time during the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between our two friendly countries," said Bangladesh High Commissioner to the UK and Ireland Saida Muna Tasneem.
Britain was one of the first countries in Europe to recognise Bangladesh’s independence on Feb 4, 1972.
The visit of Dr Momen is also highly significant as it would provide an opportunity to set the tone for Bangladesh CVF Presidency’s high-level participation in the upcoming COP26 scheduled in Glasgow in early November under UK’s Presidency, said High Commissioner Tasneem.
Return of the Rohingyas back to Myanmar and regional security issues will also feature in the discussions, said the High Commissioner.
The Foreign Minister is due to discuss the entire gamut of bilateral issues with the UK Foreign Secretary from post-Brexit trade relations, Bangladesh-UK new economic partnership vision to post-covid vaccine cooperation and lifting Bangladesh out of UK’s travel red list.
Bangladeshi-British diaspora and work opportunities of skilled professionals from Bangladesh would also feature high in the talks, said the envoy.
On his arrival on Wednesday, the Foreign Minister will be received by High CommissionerTasneem at the Heathrow Airport.
Prior to the bilateral talks with the UK Foreign Minister, Dr Momen will also have a bilateral meeting with COP26 President Alok Sharma at 9 Downing Street to discuss the COP26 agenda for Bangladesh with a particular focus on loss and damage and the proposed CVF-COP26 Leaders’ Summit under Bangladesh Presidency.
Apart from the official meetings, the Foreign Minister will deliver a climate talk on “Forging a CVF-COP26 Climate Solidarity” at the UK's leading think tank Chatham House, organized jointly by Bangladesh High Commission and Chatham House.
The event will also be attended by Maldives Speaker and former President and CVF Thematic Ambassador for Ambition Mohamed Nasheed along with a number of CVF Ambassadors and High Commissioners and climate experts.
The Minister will deliver a keynote speech on “Bangladesh-UK at 50:Towards a post-Brexit, post-Covid Economic Vision” at a high-profile business dialogue with British and British-Bangladesh chambers, including three mainstream chambers- British Chambers of Commerce, London Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council.
Bangladesh High Commission in collaboration with British-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BBCCI) is organising the event.
Dedicating to the philosophy of peace and non-violence of Bangladesh’s Founding Father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and marking his birth centenary, the Foreign Minister is expected to inaugurate a peace grove in central London.
Dr Momen will visit the Bangladesh High Commission when he will officially inaugurate the Bangabandhu Library, the Centennial Portrait of Bangabandhu, the Bangabandhu Consular Week and the extended premises of Bangladesh High Commission at 27 Queens’ Gate.
He will also participate in an interactive dialogue with Bangladeshi young talented students from UK’s eminent universities.
During his UK visit, Dr Momen is expected to meet some British MPs and dignitaries at official and civic receptions and join community events, including the NRB Foundation and CAP Foundation programmes, to exchange views with expatriate Bangladeshis from the UK and Europe.