French, German Foreign Ministers in Dhaka

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and German Foreign Minister Dr Frank-Walter Steinmeier arrived here together on Monday morning on a brief 14-hour visit to get the firsthand experience of climate change impact on Bangladesh and inaugurate the first-ever France-Germany (Franco-German) joint embassy in Dhaka, reports UNB.

Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali received them at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at 8am, said a senior Foreign Ministry official.

“It’s going to be a historic moment,” said Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali ahead of the visit.

The two visiting Foreign Ministers along with their Bangladesh counterpart were scheduled to leave for Patuakhali immediately after their arrival but the trip was postponed due to bad weather.

Bangladesh is a vulnerable country in terms of climate change, and both the countries will consider Bangladesh’s opinions with due importance in the next climate summit to be held in Paris this year.

They will attend a working lunch offered by Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali at state guesthouse Padma.

They will meet Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her official residence Ganobhaban at 4pm on Monday.

Then they will interact with the press after inaugurating the joint Embassy. The Franco-German Embassy in Dhaka is the first among others being constructed in the world.

The foundation stone was laid on January 22, 2013, the 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Elysee that confirmed the rapprochement between the two countries following a history of warfare.

The common ambition of the Franco-German embassy in Dhaka is to display the theme of duality and unity in a single building.

France and Germany are the two most important members of the EU, and their partnership is seen as central to the 28-country group.

Mahmood Ali, ahead of the visit said both the countries have very strong relations with Bangladesh and took a strong position in favour of Bangladesh in addressing climate risk as Bangladesh is one of the most vulnerable countries due to climate change.

Laurent Fabius earlier agreed to visit Bangladesh during his bilateral meeting with Bangladesh Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali in France recently.

The two Foreign Ministers are scheduled to leave Dhaka at 9:45pm.