April 1, 2023, 2:08 pm

Diplomatic correspondent

2023-02-03 23:57:27 BdST

Argentine FM due Feb 27Dhaka eyes deeper relations with Latin American countries

Bangladesh sees scopes to work closely with the Latin American countries on multiple fronts including trade and investment; and Argentine Foreign Minister Santiago Andrés Cafiero’s impending visit is part of Dhaka’s efforts to diversify and deepen the relations.

“You are aware that a new dimension has recently been added in terms of Bangladesh’s diplomatic relations with the Latin American countries,” spokesperson at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Seheli Sabrin told reporters at a weekly briefing on Thursday, hoping that the Argentine Foreign Minister will visit Bangladesh on February 27.

The Argentine Foreign Minister will meet Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen and the leaders of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industries during his stay in Bangladesh.

The two countries are likely to sign one or more MoUs during the Foreign Office Consultations (FOC).

A formal announcement regarding the opening of Argentina’s Mission in Dhaka is likely to come during the Argentine Foreign Minister’s visit, Sabrin said.

She said it is a lengthy process to open a mission in any country and recalled that a fact-finding mission worked back in 2009 to explore opportunities in Latin American countries.

On January 30, Foreign Minister Momen said his Argentine counterpart Santiago Andrés Cafiero will be in Dhaka on a two-day official visit in February – as the two sides want to strengthen ties in the coming days.

“I have invited him. He (Argentine foreign minister) will come. I told him to bring Lionel Messi with him,” Momen told reporters at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, adding that it will be a plus for Bangladesh if Argentina opens a mission in Bangladesh.

Asked whether Messi is coming, the MoFA spokesperson said there is no such confirmation yet. “We will let you know if we get any confirmation through the relevant ministry.”

Argentina “in principle agreed” to open its mission or consulate in Dhaka and the government of Bangladesh also has a plan to open a mission in Argentina. Bangladesh has already opened a mission in Brazil.

“We hope we will open a Bangladesh mission in Argentina in future,” Foreign Minister Momen said, adding that Bangladesh considers three things – size of Bangladeshi community there, importance of the host country, and flow of remittance into Bangladesh – before opening any mission abroad.

Momen said Argentina is a good friend of Bangladesh and always remains supportive. “We have a very good relationship with Argentina.”

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