Government Policy

Bangladesh, Kuwait to chart out roadmap for boosting bilateral cooperation: FM

Bangladesh and Kuwait will chart out a comprehensive roadmap together in the next five years to boost bilateral cooperation in several sectors, including setting up an oil refinery.

The decision came from a bilateral meeting held between Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Kuwaiti counterpart Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah at the United Nations Headquarters on Tuesday, said Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen at a press briefing in New York.

“The Kuwaiti Prime Minister thinks that Kuwait and Bangladesh should together prepare a roadmap and design actionable programmes in the next five years so that our relations are strengthened further,” he said.

He said the foreign ministers of the two countries will sit in a meeting to chart out the roadmap. “We’ll work out the details.”

Noting that five big projects are now being implemented with finance from Kuwait fund, he said Bangladesh wants more and Kuwait is also keen for more projects.

“Kuwait wants to undertake different projects…. They’ve taken the initiative to establish an oil refinery in Bangladesh. Our Prime Minister (Sheikh Hasina) said we’ll surely provide them land for the refinery. We’ll be happy if they set up a refinery in our country,” said Dr Momen.

He said a preliminary proposal came from Kuwait to set up a refinery and it will now be more solidified.

“It was a very fruitful meeting. Because, this will give us a big push for developing a solid relationship with Bangladesh and Kuwait,” he said, adding that an excellent relation is now prevailing between the two countries.

Some 20,000 Bangladeshi troops worked as peacekeepers in Kuwait since the gulf war. Kuwait is grateful to Bangladesh forever due to its support during the Gulf War.

In this context, State Minister M Shahriar Alam, who was present at the briefing, said there is a contingent named “Bangladesh Contingent” in the Kuwait Army. Still, there are Bangladeshi soldiers in Kuwait to certify their lands as landmine-free areas following further inspection.

Recollecting the role of Bangladesh Army, Kuwait Prime Minister said they were grateful to the Bangladesh government.

Earlier in the morning, Hasina joined a reception at the UNHQ where heads of state or government were present and then the opening session of the UNGA general debate began.

In the beginning of the high-level general debate, the UN Secretary-General António Guterres, the President of 76th UNGA Abdulla Shahid (of the Maldives) and Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro delivered their speeches as per the tradition. Then US President Joe Biden delivered his speech in the general debate.

Later, Hasina had a bilateral meeting with her Swedish counterpart Stefan Lofven at the bilateral meeting booth of the UN Headquarters.

Since Stefan Lofven is a very famous name for labour rights, Hasina told him that Bangladesh made a tremendous development in the labour sector.

She said not a single RMG worker was terminated during the Covid-19 pandemic as the government announced stimulus packages for the RMG factory owners. Among the world’s top 10 environment-friendly factories, seven industrial units are in Bangladesh, she added.

Hasina asked the Swedish Prime Minister to raise the progress of Bangladesh in labour rights internationally.

Source: United News of Bangladesh