The 2nd Foreign Office Consultations (FOC) Meeting between Bangladesh and Qatar was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar on Monday, 12 September 2022. State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Md. Shahriar Alam, MP led the Bangladesh delegation. In contrast, the Qatari delegation was led by Mr. Soltan bin Saad Al- Muraikhi, State Minister for Foreign Affairs of Qatar. The meeting was held in a cordial atmosphere.
During the meeting, two delegations reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral, regional, and multilateral issues between the two countries. The problems for discussions included enhanced cooperation in skilled manpower and human resource development, increased business-to-business contact, visa waiver for diplomats and officials between the two countries, collaboration on food security, education and health, energy and power, civil aviation, etc. State Minister of Bangladesh requested the Qatari side to consider investment in High-Tech parks, special economic zones, construction and energy sectors, etc.
The Qatari side requested Bangladesh to send specific proposals in this regard. The two sides also exchanged views on regional issues. They discussed the celebration of the Golden Jubilee of diplomatic ties in 2024 through joint programs, including the exchange of high-level visits and the Bangladesh-Qatar Year of Culture.
State Minister briefed on Bangladesh’s recent remarkable progress in socio-economic development, robust economic growth, and the Government’s efforts to establish Bangladesh as the regional hub of connectivity. He requested the Qatari Minister to consider an additional LNG supply to Bangladesh to meet the increasing demand for industrial growth in the country.
He also sought Qatari support for a sustainable solution to the Rohingya crisis. The Qatari State Minister appreciated the role of the Bangladesh community in the development efforts of Qatar, contributing to the economies of both countries.
During the meeting, the Bangladesh side reiterated the invitation to the Amir of Qatar from the President of Bangladesh. The Qatari side informed that the Amir of Qatar might undertake a visit to Bangladesh next year.
State Minister appreciated Qatar’s overall preparations for hosting the FIFA World Cup in Doha in November- December 2022.
They also expressed keen interest in recruiting nurses, medical professionals, and technicians from Bangladesh. Both sides expressed their resolve to further consolidate the existing friendship bond and take them to new heights.
During the meeting, the two Ministers signed an Agreement on visa waiver for diplomatic, official, and unique passport holders between Bangladesh and Qatar. Both sides agreed to sign agreements on Avoidance of Double Taxation, Cultural Cooperation, Legal Fields collaboration, MoU on Education, and Cooperation on Waqf and Islamic Affairs, etc., during the upcoming high-level visit.
The following Foreign Office Consultations (FOC) round will be held in Dhaka in 2023.
The meeting was attended by Secretary (West) Shabbir Ahmed Chowdhury, Bangladesh Ambassador to Qatar Md. Jashim Uddin and Director Asia Department at Qatari Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Soltan Laram.
(Dhaka, Correspondent: Moshiur Ananda)