Remove Bangladesh from red-listed Covid-19 countries: Momen to UK foreign secretary

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Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen requested British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab to remove Bangladesh from the red-list Covid-19 countries, and therefore allow stranded British Bangladeshis to travel back to UK from Bangladesh.

During a bilateral virtual meeting yesterday morning, he said, “Given Bangladesh’s robust vaccine roll-out and significant reductions in Covid infection to 9.82 percent [On Monday] and the hardship of more than 7,000 British-Bangladeshis currently stranded in Bangladesh, the UK should consider removing Bangladesh from the Covid red-list countries”.

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Momen held the meeting virtually from the Netherlands yesterday as the scheduled meeting on September 2 could not be held as the UK minister had to travel to Doha for an emergency meeting on Afghanistan, according to a statement from the Bangladesh high commission to UK.

In response, Secretary of State Dominic Raab said, “Britain does appreciate politically the overall pressure on the government regarding red-listing and remains well aware of the decreasing covid infections in Bangladesh, however, such decisions are reviewed by the public health experts on a regular basis.

“I would like to assure that given the longstanding friendship between our two countries, and based on more frequent genomic sequencing data-uploading by Bangladesh, the British government will review the Bangladesh red list.”

During their first official bilateral meeting, the two foreign ministers reaffirmed the historic and value-based relations between Bangladesh and the UK since Bangladesh’s Liberation War in 1971, and agreed to jointly celebrate the 50th anniversary of Bangladesh-UK diplomatic relations through exchange of high-level visits and charting an ambitious and ever-expanding Bangladesh-UK post-Brexit strategic partnership. 

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