Bangladesh sees many achievements in Prime Minister’s Italy visit

Foreign Minister Dr Ak Abdul Momen

Meeting was cordial and fruitful; Two MoUs were signed; Prime Minister returned from Rome on Wednesday; Foreign Minister slams media for trying to find ‘dirt.’

Foreign Minister Dr Ak Abdul Momen on Thursday, July 27 said that there had been “many achievements” during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s just-concluded Italy visit, but journalists always tried to find “dirt.”

While replying to a question on the prime minister’s visit at the Foreign Service Academy, “Dr Momen said, “The main issue that our Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina raised was the manpower one. We have so many Bangladeshis living there legally and illegally. She requested Italian Premier to regularize them (illegally living) through mentioning that they are contributing to both your (Italy) and our (Bangladesh) economy.”

Asked whether the issue of western diplomats’ statement on the attack on Ashraful Alom alias Hero Alom was raised during the meetings, the foreign minister said, “We have not said anything about it. It’s a place of civility. You (media workers) will always talk about dirt. We didn’t talk about it. And you always look for dirt. Your habits are bad.” He also asked journalists to “stop this nuisance”.

Italy was one of the 13 countries of which diplomats issued a statement on Hero Alom, days after the attack at the end of the Dhaka-17 by-election on July 17.

Police arrested all who were connected to the attack. However, the government took the joint statement “undiplomatic” and expressed “displeasure” over the statement on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina returned from Italy on Wednesday after a three-day official visit to join the UNFSS+2 conference at the invitation of the United Nations (UN) Secretary General António Guterres. She also had a bilateral meeting with her Italian counterpart Giorgia Meloni. Before the bilateral meeting, Sheikh Hasina was accorded a guard of honor.

Two Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) : “Cooperation in the Field of Energy” and “Cultural Exchange Programme” were exchanged in the presence of the two Prime Ministers.

Three Italian ministers:  Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi, Justice Minister Carlo Nordio and Agriculture Minister Francesco Lollobrigida also paid a courtesy call on Sheikh  Hasina at the FAO headquarters.

Dr. Momen said, “I must say the honour they gave to our Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was excellent. The meeting was very cordial and fruitful. There are many achievements. We are very happy.”

The UNFSS+2 conference was held at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) headquarters from July 24 to Wednesday with the theme “Sustainable Food Systems for People, Planet and Prosperity: Diverse Pathways in a Shared Journey.”

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina addressed the official opening of the conference at the FAO headquarters as the special guest speaker on July 24. She also participated in the plenary session titled “Food Systems and Climate Action.” She also joined the inaugural ceremony of the Bangladesh-Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Room at FAO headquarters. The Prime Minister placed five proposals related to food security and climate change in her speech at the FAO meeting.

World Food Programme (WFP) Executive Director Cindy Hensley McCain, President of International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Alvaro Lario and FAO Director General Qu Dongyu paid a courtesy call on the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

The Prime Minister joined the “Regional Envoys Conference,” organized with Bangladesh ambassadors stationed in 15 European countries on July 25.



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