Khaleda’s Saudi tour reopens closed door: BNP
Reported by: UNBConnect
Reported on: Jun 26, 2012 07:56 pm
Reported in: Politics
Dhaka, June 26 (UNB) – Opposition BNP on Tuesday said that Khaleda Zia’s recent Saudi tour has created an ample scope for Bangladesh to improve the crumbling relations between the two Muslim nations.Addressing a press briefing at the BNP Chairperson’s Gulshan office, BNP vice-chairman Shamsher Mobin Chowdhury urged the government to properly utilise this opportunity for the country’s economic development and the welfare of Bangladeshi workers living in Saudi Arabia.“The closed door has reopened…the government should avail of this opportunity by taking steps to export more manpower,” he told the briefing. The press briefing was organised to inform journalists about the outcome of the opposition leader’s tour. BNP Chairperson’s adviser Riaz Rahman and her press secretary Maruf Kamal Khan were, among others, present at the briefing, and replied to various questions from journalists.Shamsher Mobin said though it was Khaleda’s tour for health checkup, she met some influential Saudi officials like newly-appointed Saudi Crown Prince Salman Bin Abdul Aziz. “The Saudi government took her visit with a great importance.”Referring to the BNP chief’s 40-minute meeting with the Crown Prince held at the office of the Price in Riyadh on Sunday, he said it was the first meeting of the second-powerful Saudi government official with any foreign leader after taking over the charge. “At the meeting, Khaleda Zia, as a leader of Bangladesh, not as a leader of a party, raised various problems facing by lakhs of Bangladeshi migrant workers in Saudi Arabia with the Prince and sought his cooperation in resolving those and effective measures for their welfare and security,” the BNP leader said.The opposition leader sought cooperation of the Prince, also the Saudi Deputy Prime Minister, in having increased Saudi investment, financial assistance and recruitment of Bangladesh workers, he said.Shamsher Mobin, a former foreign secretary, said the Prince took every issue raised by the opposition during the meeting very positively and assured her of taking up the matters with the authorities concerned.Khaleda Zia and Prince Salman discussed various other issues relating to the interests of the two countries and the Muslim Ummah.Responding to a question, he said the BNP chief showing importance for national interests did not discuss political issues, and only talked about the issues relating to the country’s economy.Asked whether the killing of Saudi Embassy official Khalaf Al Ali came up for discussion, he said there was no discussion with the Prince in this regard but a group of ex-Saudi diplomats who had worked in Bangladesh at different times met Khaleda and voiced grave concern over the incident and the slow pace of investigation into the murder.BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia returned home early Monday after a nine-day visit to Saudi Arabia.Khaleda went to Saudi Arabia on June 15 at the invitation of the Saudi government for her medical treatment. She underwent health checkup at the King Faisal Specialised Hospital.During her stay in Saudi Arabia, the BNP chief also performed holy Umrah and held meetings with Saudi high officials, including Saudi king Abdullah’s Adviser Abdullah Omar Nasif, OIC Secretary General Dr Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu and Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Chairman Dr Ahmad Mohamed Ali.
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