British High Commissioner Alison Blake paid farewell call on Foreign Minister Dr. AK Abdul Momen this morning at his office. Foreign Minister Dr Momen appreciated High Commissioner Blake for her dedicated and hard work to further strengthen and broaden bilateral relations between the two countries. Foreign Minister sought her continued support to encourage more investment by the UK companies in Bangladesh. Referring to more than half a million strong British-Bangladeshis in the UK, mostly from Sylhet, he further urged the High Commissioner to make UK visa processing more hassle free.
The British High Commissioner thanked the Foreign Minister for all the support she received from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the government, as a whole. Referring to the upcoming 3rd Strategic Dialogue between Bangladesh and the UK, to be held in April 2019 in Dhaka, she termed it as a “wonderful framework” for in-depth review of bilateral relations between the two countries. On Foreign Minister’s reference to post-Brexit trade preferences for Bangladesh, the British High Commissioner reassured that Bangladesh would continue to enjoy EU’s Everything But Arms (EBA) like trade preferences until an even better deal is being worked out between the two countries.
Foreign Minister thanked the British High Commissioner for playing the pivotal role in mobilizing strong UK leadership at the global level for finding a sustainable and peaceful solution to the Rohingya crisis.
High Commissioner Blake also called on the State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam and thanked him for all the support during her tenure in Bangladesh. They exchanged views on current political relations including high number of incoming visits from UK over past few years, Rohingya crisis, countering terrorism and upcoming Cricket World Cup in the UK.
Foreign Secretary Md Shahidul Haque hosted a farewell lunch in honour of the outgoing British High Commissioner at the State Guest House Padma, where senior government officials, members of the diplomatic corps and business leaders were present.
High Commissioner Alison Blake presented her Letters of Credence to the Hon’ble President on 19 January 2016 and is scheduled to depart the country on 7 March 2019, after end of her tour of duty.