Bangladesh to sign MoU with Saudi Arabia on military cooperation during Hasina’s visit

বাংলাদেশ প্রেস
বাংলাদেশ প্রেস

 

  • Hasina visited Saudi Arabia in April to witness the final march of the joint military forces
  • Saudi Arabia had been building a military alliance with Muslim countries in recent years and, especially after the Yemen crisis, this demand is now felt even more than before

Bangladesh is set to sign a deal to enhance military cooperation with Saudi Arabia during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s four-day visit to the Kingdom, Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister A. H. Mahmood Ali said on Monday.
Hasina, along with her entourage, left Dhaka on Tuesday on a special Biman Bangladesh flight. The premier is visiting the Kingdom on the invitation of King Salman.
The memorandum of understanding on defense cooperation between the two countries is scheduled to be signed during the meeting of Sheikh Hasina and the Saudi king on Wednesday in Riyadh.
The foreign minister did not give further details of the deal.
Security analysts in Dhaka expressed their high expectations and welcomed any military cooperation with the Kingdom.
Maj. Gen. (retired) Abdur Rashid, a renowned Bangladesh security analyst, told Arab News that any deal with Saudi Arabia will bring Bangladesh closer to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) nations and during any emergency it will enable the country to seek military assistance from friendly countries, including Saudi Arabia.
“On the Rohingya issue, Bangladesh is receiving direct support from the OIC countries on different regional and international platforms. So this kind of military agreement with Riyadh will definitely help Bangladesh to gain more support from the Saudi-bloc countries in the Middle East to resolve the crisis,” Rashid added.
He said Saudi Arabia had been building a military alliance with Muslim countries in recent years and, especially after the Yemen crisis, this demand is now felt even more than before.
“Any military cooperation deal should be based on a win-win situation, and if Bangladesh signs the agreement with Saudi Arabia, it will increase the capacity of the military alliance led by Saudi Arabia, since Bangladesh is one of the largest Muslim nations in the world,” Rashid added.

Saudi Arabia holds a very strong military might among the Middle Eastern countries, and when the country goes for any up-gradation in its military power, it may share the military logistics with Bangladesh, which will eventually strengthen the latter’s military capacity. Rashid considers that this military deal will give Bangladesh a “strategic advantage” in the defense arena.
As an expression of brotherhood, Bangladesh has stood beside the Kingdom on several occasions at different forums. This year, it participated in a 23-nation joint military exercise led by Saudi Arabia.
Hasina visited the Kingdom in April to witness the final march of the joint military forces.
During her visit, the Bangladesh; premier will also sign another deal on cooperation in the information and communications technology sector. She is also scheduled to attend a business seminar in Riyadh organized by the Council of Saudi Chambers.
Golam Moshi, Bangladesh’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia, said: “The Bangladesh PM will focus on increasing the labor migration in Saudi Arabia. She will also ask for more investments from Saudi Arabia in solar power, cement, special economic zones, and the oil-refining sector of Bangladesh.”
Hasina will inaugurate the newly built permanent Chancery building of the Bangladesh Embassy in Riyadh on Wednesday.
She will also lay the foundation stone of the Bangladesh Consulate in Jeddah on land Bangladesh bought recently. Hasina will perform the Umrah in Makkah on Thursday and is scheduled to return home the next day.
She previously visited Saudi Arabia in May 2017 and June 2016 as head of the incumbent Bangladesh government.

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