The 2nd Foreign Office Consultations (FOC) meeting between Bangladesh and Qatar was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar on Monday (12 September).
State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Md Shahriar Alam, led the Bangladesh delegation while the Qatari delegation was led by Soltan bin Saad Al- Muraikhi, state minister for Foreign Affairs of Qatar.
The meeting was held in a cordial atmosphere, reads a MoFA press release.
During the meeting, two delegations took stock and reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral, regional, and multilateral issues between the two countries.
The issues that came up for discussions included enhanced cooperation in skilled manpower and human resource development, increased business to business contact, visa waiver for diplomats and officials between the two countries, collaboration on food security, education and health, energy and power, civil aviation, etc.
State Minister of Bangladesh requested the Qatari side for considering investment in High-Tech parks, special economic zones, in construction and energy sectors, etc.
The Qatari side requested Bangladesh to send specific proposals in this regard.
The two sides also exchanged views on regional issues. They discussed celebration of Golden Jubilee of the diplomatic ties in 2024 by joint programmes including exchange of high-level visits and Bangladesh-Qatar Year of Culture, the release adds.
Shahriar Alam briefed on Bangladesh's recent remarkable progress in socio-economic development, robust economic growth as well as the government's efforts to establish Bangladesh as the regional hub of connectivity. He requested his Qatari counterpart to consider additional supply of LNG to Bangladesh to meet the increasing demand for industrial growth in the country.
He also sought Qatari support for a sustainable solution to Rohingya crisis.
The Qatari state minister appreciated the role of Bangladesh community in the development efforts of Qatar contributing to the economies of both the countries.
During the meeting, Bangladesh side reiterated the invitation to the Amir of Qatar from the President of Bangladesh.
The Qatari side informed that the Amir of Qatar may undertake a visit to Bangladesh next year.
Shahriar appreciated Qatar's overall preparations in hosting the FIFA World Cup to be held in Doha in November-December 2022.
They also expressed keen interests in recruiting nurses, medical professionals and technicians from Bangladesh. Both sides expressed their resolve to further consolidating the existing bond of friendship and to take them to new heights.
During the meeting, the two ministers signed an agreement on visa waiver for diplomatic, official and special passport holders between Bangladesh and Qatar.
Both sides agreed to sign agreements on Avoidance of double Taxation, Cultural Cooperation, Legal Fields collaboration, MoU on Education, and Cooperation on Waqf and Islamic Affairs, etc. during the upcoming high level visit.
The next round of Foreign Office Consultations (FOC) will be held in Dhaka in 2023.
The meeting was attended among others by Secretary (West) Shabbir Ahmed Chowdhury, Bangladesh Ambassador to Qatar Md Jashim Uddin and Director Asia Department at Qatari Ministry of Foreign Affairs Amb Soltan Laram.