Bangladesh and the United Kingdom will hold the fourth Strategic Dialogue in London on Thursday to review all aspects of the relations between the two countries with a focus on post-Brexit and post-Covid new strategic partnership.
The two sides will discuss the entire gamut of bilateral relations covering political relations, economic and development partnership, security and defence cooperation, and exchanges on current global issues including Afghanistan and Rohingya crisis.
Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen will lead the Bangladesh delegation while Sir Philip Robert Barton KCMG OBE, Permanent Under-Secretary at the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) will lead the UK side at the dialogue, said an official.
The Bangladesh-UK Strategic Dialogue was launched in Dhaka in 2017 while the second Strategic Dialogue took place at the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office in March 2018 and the third one was held in Dhaka on April 24, 2019.
The issues related to joint celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations, trade and investment, climate change (COP26), education and skills, good governance, human rights and migration issues will also be discussed.
Bangladesh is likely to reiterate its call to review the travel restrictions on Bangladesh and remove it from the red-list.
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen already raised the issue during a recent virtual meeting with his British counterpart Dominic Raab.
“Given Bangladesh’s robust vaccine roll-out and significant reductions in Covid infection to 9.82% and sufferings of more than 7000 British-Bangladeshis currently stranded in Bangladesh, the UK should consider removing Bangladesh from the Covid red-list countries,” Dr Momen said.
However, such decisions are reviewed by the Public Health Experts on a regular basis, according to the UK government.
“I would like to assure that given the long standing friendship between our two countries, and based on more frequent genomic sequencing data-uploading by Bangladesh, the British Government will review Bangladesh red list,” Raab was quoted as saying.