Bangladesh Dhaka corrspondent : Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has left Bangladesh for Saudi Arabia on Sunday and thus kicked off her 9-day official tour of Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom.
According to government sources, the Premier will attend the concluding ceremony of a joint military exercise named ‘Gulf Shield-1’ in Dammam of Saudi Arabia.
Sheikh Hasina will also join the concluding ceremony of ‘Gulf Shield-1’ at the invitation of Saudi King and Custodian of the two Holy Mosques Salman Bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud.
Then the Prime Minister will join the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London.
On Sunday, a VVIP flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines carrying Sheikh Hasina and her entourage took off from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport for Dammam at 4pm.
The flight is scheduled to reach Dammam King Fahd International Airport at 7:05 pm (local time) the same day.
In Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Hasina will take part in a parade apart from the concluding ceremony of the joint military exercise in the Eastern Province of Al-Jubail onApril 16.
Saudi Arabia has organised the month-long military exercise with the participation of 23 friendly countries aimed at further increasing security cooperation in the Gulf region.
An 18-member delegation of Bangladesh Armed Forces was participating in the exercise that began on March 18.
After attending the concluding ceremony, Hasina will leave Dammam for London at 5:30pm on April 16 (Monday) by a special flight. The flight is scheduled to land at Heathrow International Airport in London at 10:30pm, local time.
The theme of this year’s CHOGM is – “Towards a Common Future”.
On April 17, the Prime Minister will attend the Commonwealth Women Forum as a presenter at a session on “Educate to empower: making equitable and quality primary education and secondary education a reality for girls across the Commonwealth” in the morning at Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, Westminster.
Sheikh Hasina will join a high-level programme to be organised by Overseas Development Institute (ODI), a prestigious think-tank of the UK, in the afternoon.
She will be the keynote speaker on “Development Progress of Bangladesh: Policy, Progress and Prospect” at the programme.
On April 18, the Prime Minister will take part in the Asian leaders’ roundtable – ‘Can Asia keep growing?’
She will join the Welcome Reception followed by a dinner to be hosted by British Prime Minister Theresa May in the afternoon.
On April 19, Sheikh Hasina will attend the formal opening of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting and the official welcome to be hosted by the British Prime Minister.
She will join a reception to be hosted by Commonwealth Secretary General Patricia Scotland QC and a presentation and a reception followed by a dinner of Queen Elizabeth II in honour of Heads of Government and their spouses/partners.
On April 20, the Prime Minister will attend three retreat sessions and the closing executive session of the summit.
On April 21, she will join a reception for the participating Commonwealth Heads of Government and the Queen’s Birthday Party Concert to be organised by the Royal Commonwealth Society (RCS).
Sheikh Hasina will join a community reception the same day.
Besides, she will call on heads of government of different countries on the sidelines of the summit.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is expected to leave London on April 22 and reach Dhaka at 9:15am on April 23.