Report by Humayun Kabir from Lisbon, Portugal. The Assembly of the Republic (Parliament) of Portugal constituted a 10-member Parliamentary Group for Portugal-Bangladesh Friendship. This was officially confirmed by the Vice-President of the Assembly of the Republic (Deputy Speaker of Parliament) Dr.Adão Silva to Bangladesh Ambassador Tarik Ahsan in Lisbon today (21 December 2022).
Recently, Bangladesh had been included in the updated list of Parliamentary Friendship Groups for the (current) 15th Parliament of Portugal, along with 58 other countries including two others from South Asia. This is the first time in history that the Portuguese Parliament has created a Parliamentary Group for Portugal-Bangladesh Friendship.
The said Group would be presided over by the Deputy Speaker of the Portuguese Parliament Dr.Adão Silva from the center-right Social Democratic Party (PSD). Of the remaining nine members, four members including two Vice-Presidents of the Group are from the ruling, center-left Socialist Party (PS); while four other members represent the opposition, center-right PSD. One member is from the right-wing Chega Party.
Parliamentary Groups for Friendship of Portugal are mandated to engage in dialogue and cooperation with the parliaments of countries that are friends of Portugal. They are responsible for promoting the actions needed to intensify relations with the parliaments and parliamentarians of other states, particularly regarding the exchange of knowledge and experiences, the exchange of information and mutual consultations, and the publicizing and promotion of common interests in the political, economic, social and cultural fields.
The formation of this Friendship Group is the fruition of an idea of Parliamentary cooperation that was floated during a meeting between Bangladesh State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md. ShahariarAlam, MP and Deputy SpeakerDr.Adão Silva held in Lisbon in May 2022. The formation of this Parliamentary Friendship Group is a friendly gesture of the people of Portugal toward Bangladesh. This will strengthen the ties of friendship between the two countries.