Jakarta: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thuesday called upon the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to make more friendly the visa regime for Bangladeshi nationals, especially for business visas.
The prime minister made the request when State Minister of UAE Dr. Maitha Salem Al-Shamsi called on her at the Jakarta Convention Center here on the sidelines of the first-ever Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Leaders' Summit.
Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque briefed reporters, while PM's Principal Secretary Dr Kamal Abdul Naser Chowdhury, Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim and Secretary on the Maritime Unit of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Real Admiral (retd) M Khorshed Alam were present.
Haque said that in response to the prime minister's request, the UAE state minister informed her that she would discuss the matter with her cabinet colleagues concerned.
During the meeting, both the prime minister and the UAE state minister discussed various issues of bilateral relations including the increasingly growing relations between the two countries.
The foreign secretary said that UAE plays an important role in the IORA and they would become the next chairman of IORA.
"On completion of the UAE term, Bangladesh would then take over the chairmanship of IORA from UAE. So then there will be a new dimension of relationships between the two countries," he said.
State Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan Nobuo Kishi also called on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at the Jakarta Convention Center.
The Japanese state minister highly lauded the bold steps taken by Bangladesh in combating terrorism and extreme violence.
Nobuo Kishi informed the Prime Minister that Japan would send a big delegation to Bangladesh to participate in the Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) conference to be held in Dhaka in the first week of April.
Besides, State Minister for Foreign Affairs of India V. K. Singh called on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at the Jakarta Convention Center.
During the meeting, VK Singh discussed the upcoming visit of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to India in April.
"We're hopeful that it will be a successful tour of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to India," the foreign secretary said.
Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali, PM's Principal Secretary Dr Kamal Abdul Naser Chowdhury and Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque and Bangladesh Ambassador to Indonesia Major General Azmal Kabir were present at the meeting among others.
Earlier, the prime minister attended the simultaneous signing of IORA Concord by 21 HODs, visited the trade exhibition area accompanied by the President of Indonesia and other heads of delegation and joined the social launch at the Jakarta Convention Center.
She later attended the closing ceremony of the IORA Leaders' Summit.
After concluding her three-day visit, Sheikh Hasina is scheduled to return home tomorrow afternoon.