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PM off to Bhutan on 3-day state visit

WT24 Desk

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina left here for Thimphu on Tuesday on a three-day state visit to Bhutan, Agencies report.

During the tour, the Prime Minister will attend a three-day ‘International Conference on Autism and Nuero Developmental Disorders’, beginning on Wednesday at the Royal Banquet Hall in the Bhutanese capital.

A Druk Air VVIP flight carrying the Prime Minister and her entourage took off from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport here for Thimphu at 10.50 am. The flight is scheduled to reach Paro International Airport in the Bhutanese capital at 11.35 am (Local time).

During the visit, Sheikh Hasina will also hold meetings with Bhutanese King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay and discuss bilateral and regional issues, which will be followed by signing of six bilateral agreements between the Bangladesh Prime Minister and her Bhutanese counterpart.

A decision is expected to come on 1,125-megawatt Dorjilung Hydropower Project in Lhuentse. The hydropower project is a trilateral cooperation among Bhutan, Bangladesh and India, in which Bangladesh will invest $1billon to import electricity.

Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali, PM’s International Affairs Adviser Dr Gowher Rizvi and PM’s daughter Saima Wazed Hossain Putul are accompanying Sheikh Hasina.

The autism conference is going to be held at the initiative of Saima Wazed, member of WHO’s expert advisory panel on mental health and chairperson of the National Advisory Committee on Autism. She took the initiative to hold the conference in Thimphu at WHO’s request.

Bhutanese Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay and Bangladesh Ambassador in Thimphu Jishnu Roy Choudhury will receive Hasina at the airport. Later, the Prime Minister will be given a guard of honour.

From the airport, Hasina will be taken to her place of residence Hotel Le Meridien Thimphu in a ceremonial motorcade where she will be received by chairman of Royal Privy Council of Bhutan Lyonpo Chenkyab Dorji.

In the afternoon, the Prime Minister will be ceremonially received at Tashichhodzong, the Royal Palace. She will then be given a guard of honour.

Later, the Prime Minister will have an audience with Bhutanese King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Queen Jetsun Pema at the Royal Palace.

Hasina then will have a meeting with her Bhutanese counterpart Tshering Tobgay at Gyalyong Tshogkhang. The meeting will be followed by signing of MoUs by two countries.

The Prime Minister will attend a banquet at Royal Banquet Hall to be hosted in her honour by the Bhutanese Prime Minister.

On Wednesday morning, Hasina will join the opening ceremony of the autism conference as the ‘guest of honour’.

She will attend the welcome lunch to be hosted by the Bhutanese Prime Minister in honour of the participants of the conference at Courtyard, Gyalyong Tshokhang.

In the afternoon, she will chair the high-level discussion titled ‘Enabling countries to successfully address autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders as part of their Sustainable Development Goals’.

The Prime Minister will join a private dinner to be hosted by the Bhutanese King and Queen at Lingkana Palace. Hasina will return home on Thursday morning.

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