Risingbd Desk: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina left the capital for Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) on an eight-day official visit to the Kingdom and the United Kingdom (UK).
A VVIP flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines carrying the Prime Minister and members of her entourage took off from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport here for Dammam city of Saudi Arabia at 4.40pm today (Sunday).
Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury, Minister for Road Transport and Bridges and General Secretary of Awami League Obaidul Quader, PM's Political Adviser HT Imam, Chief Whip ASM Firoz, chiefs of air and naval staffs, charge-d'-affairs of Saudi Arabia, British High Commissioner in Dhaka and senior civil and military officials were present at the airport to see the premier off.
In Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Hasina will join a parade and concluding ceremony of a joint grand military exercise named "Gulf Shield-1" in the Eastern Province of Al-Jubail tomorrow, and in the UK she will join the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) Summit.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will attend the concluding ceremony of Gulf Sheild-1 at the invitation of Saudi King and the custodian of the two holy mosques Salman Bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud.
Saudi Arabia has organised the month-long military exercise aimed at further increasing security cooperation in the gulf region with the participation of its 23 friendly countries.
An 18-member delegation of Bangladesh Armed Forces is participating in the exercise that began on March 18.
Other countries participating in the military drill are - the USA, the UK, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Egypt, Jordan, Sudan, Mauritania, Malaysia, Pakistan, Chad, Djibouti, Niger, Comoros, Afghanistan, Oman, Guyana, Turkey, and Burkina Faso.
Sheikh Hasina will leave Dammam for London tomorrow afternoon by a special flight to join the CHOGM Summit. The Summit is being held in London this year with the theme- "Towards a Common Future".
On April 17, the prime minister will attend the Commonwealth Women Forum as a presenter at the session on "Educate to empower: Making equitable and quality primary education and secondary education a reality for girls across the Commonwealth" 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" in the programme.
On April 18, Sheikh Hasina will attend the Asian leaders' roundtable - 'Can Asia keep growing?'
The prime minister will join the Welcome Reception followed by a dinner to be hosted by British Premier Theresa May in the afternoon.
On April 19, Sheikh Hasina will attend the formal opening of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) and official welcome ceremony to be hosted by the British premier.
She will join a reception to be hosted by Commonwealth Secretary General Patricia Scotland QC and a presentation and reception followed by a dinner of Queen Elizabeth II in honour of Heads of Government and spouse/partners at the Buckingham Palace.
On April 20, the prime minister will attend three retreat sessions and the closing executive session of the summit.
On April 21, she will attend a reception for participating Commonwealth Heads of Government and the Queen's Birthday Party Concert to be organized by the Royal Commonwealth Society (RCS).
The prime minister will join a community reception the same day.
Besides, Sheikh Hasina will call on heads of government of different countries on the sidelines of the summit. She will return home on April 23.
risingbd/Dhaka/April 15, 2018/Saif/AI