PM Sheikh Hasina to visit Germany, UAE this week

DHAKA (The Daily Star/ANN) - Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will begin a week-long visit on February 14 to join two conferences on security and defence in Germany and the United Arab Emirates.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will begin a week-long visit on February 14 to join two conferences on security and defence in Germany and the United Arab Emirates.

She will leave Dhaka for Germany on Thursday to attend the Munich Security Conference (MSC). The PM will then go to the UAE to attend International Defence Exhibition and Conference (Idex) and pay a bilateral visit there.

This will be her first foreign visit after the Awami League formed the government for a third straight term.

Diplomatic sources said the PM would get the opportunity to meet world leaders in the summits and discuss her future plans to alleviate poverty, achieve economic development and eliminate terrorism and extremism. 

She will also inform them that Bangladesh has set a goal to establish itself as a middle-income country by 2021 and a developed and prosperous one by 2041. During the meetings, she will also seek support from the friends of Bangladesh for achieving the goals.

The sources said Hasina would participate in the 55th MSC in Germany slated for February 15 to 17 to discuss various contemporary issues, including international security policy.

Apart from delivering speech in the main conference, Hasina is expected to attend different panel discussions and address climate and security issues. She will also hold bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the conference.

Officials confirmed a bilateral meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the sidelines of the MSC. More than 35 heads of state and government, 50 foreign ministers and 30 defense ministers are expected to attend the event.

The MSC is an important international forum which meets annually to discuss current and future security challenges with the participation of numerous high-level political leaders, politicians, decision-makers, academics and international security experts.

Hasina will then depart for the UAE on February 16 night to take part in the Idex and the Naval Defence and Maritime Security Exhibition, which will be held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre on February 17 to 21.

A Bangladesh Navy ship is in Abu Dhabi to participate in the exhibition, sources said.

In the UAE, the PM will also pay a bilateral visit and hold meetings with top UAE leaders, including Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE's Armed Forces Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed.

During the meetings, both the sides are expected to discuss a wide range of issues, including fight against terrorism, peace and security in the Middle East, cooperation with each other to expand the scope of partnership in the fields of trade, business and investment in infrastructure.

Hasina will return home on February 20.

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