Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina visited Saudia Arabia on Sunday (Apr 15) to attend the concluding ceremony of a joint military exercise named “Gulf Shield -1” hosted by the Kingdom.
An 18-member Bangladesh Armed Forces delegation has taken part in the month-long joint exercise.
It is for the first time that Bangladesh armed forces are taking part in a joint military exercise in Saudi Arabia.
Apart from Bangladesh and the host Saudi Arabia, 19 other countries have participated in the exercise with a view to increase more military coordination.
The Bangladesh premier was invited by King Salman to witness the concluding ceremony.
“The prime minister will attend the concluding ceremony of the joint military exercise,” said acting Foreign Secretary Khorshed Alam.
Bangladesh enjoys a diversified historic relationship with Saudi Arabia.
“During this visit so far, there is no schedule of any bilateral talks and after the concluding ceremony, the prime minister will fly to the UK to attend the Commonwealth Head of Government Summit,” according to Alam speaking to Arab News.
Earlier in 1990, the Bangladesh military participated in the first Gulf War. “The joining of the Bangladesh military in this joint exercise has a huge significance,” said a renowned security analyst, Maj. Gen. (retired) Abdur Radhid.
“This joint military exercise may initiate a new era of military relationship between Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia and definitely it’s a very bold decision from Bangladesh side,” said Rashid.
Bangladesh’s military has a huge prospect to work with Saudi Arabia in different capacity. “Our military can help the Saudi Arabia in maintaining security of VP (Vulnerable Points) and KPI (Key Point Installations) areas as we have earned a very high estimation in global area through the UN Peace Keeping Forces,” commented another security analyst, Major General (ret.) Helal Morshed Khan.
In the Middle Eastern countries, Bangladesh has a great interest in terms of labor market, oil purchase and religious fellow feelings. ” Bangladesh is ready to take the new opportunities this time by nurturing a close relationship with Saudi Arabia,” said Professor Dr. Delwar Hossain, a Middle East expert.