Prime minister Sheikh Hasina left Dhaka for Rome on Sunday morning on a four-day official visit to Italy to join the upcoming meeting of the Rome-based International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) as one of its keynote speakers at the invitation of IFAD president Gilbert F Houngbo.
The prime minister will present the keynote paper at the meeting on 13 February, reports news agency UNB. Sheikh Hasina and her entourage left Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at 10:05 am by an Emirates flight.
Finance minister AMA Muhith, agriculture minister Matia Chowdhury and foreign minister AH Mahmood Ali are accompanying the prime minister.
Hasina will reach Fiumicino Airport, Rome around 6:45 pm (local time) via Dubai. She will be taken to Parco Dei Principi Grand Hotel in Rome where she will be staying during her visit.
On Monday morning, the prime minister will go to the Vatican City where she will be given audience by Pope Francis after guard of honour there.
She will also have a meeting with Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin and visit Sistine Chapel and Saint Peter’s Basilica. In the evening, Hasina will join dinner to be hosted by the Bangladesh ambassador in Rome.
On 13 February, the prime minister will attend the inaugural session of the Governing Council of IFAD and deliver her keynote paper. Later, she will attend lunch to be hosted by IFAD president in honour of keynote speakers.
In the evening, she will join a community reception arranged by the local unit of Awami League. The theme of this year’s IFAD council is ‘From fragility to long-term resilience: Investing in sustainable rural economies.’
The governing Council of IFAD is the Fund’s principal governing body having full decision-making powers.
It consists of all of IFAD’s member states and meets annually. It is attended by the official Member State representatives. Observers are also invited to attend sessions.
IFAD has more than 30 years of experience working in Bangladesh. The Prime Minister will leave Rome on the afternoon of 14 February and reach Dhaka on 15 February morning.