What’s the significance of Saudi Arabia-Bangladesh military diplomacy ?

Jubeda Chowdhury
The official journey of Bangladesh and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) relations started in 1975 when the KSA recognized newly born Bangladesh as a sovereign country. Since then, these two countries have been maintaining cordial and closer friendship prioritizing mutual understanding, deep sense of fraternity, and cooperation in multilateral sectors. State-level official visits from both sides have contributed to the further development of their bilateral bonding. The current Prime Minister of the KSA, Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, is expected to visit Bangladesh on this year. Marking this historical visit, Bangladesh expects that the bilateral relations could be taken to a new height by ensuring more economic cooperation.
Bangladesh, being a Muslim-majority country, attaches a special priority to its relations with Saudi Arabia as the birthplace of Islam. Both countries have common social norms and cultural values derived from their religious practices. Also, they share similar views on many regional and global issues especially those are directly related to the Muslim world. Their common interest led them to cooperate in different regional and international platforms such as the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), UN, etc. Their current ties have further been reinforced by ever-deepening cooperation in the fields of investment, trade, investment, manpower, defense, education, culture etc.  As Bangladesh perceives KSA as one of its trusted friends, it is the need of the hour to analyze the significance of the Bangladesh army chiefs KSA visit. Chief of Army Staff General S M Shafiuddin Ahmed travelled to Saudi Arabia on an official visit on Tuesday at the invitation of Commander of the Royal Saudi Land Forces Lt Gen Fahd bin Abdullah Al-Mutair.
During the visit, he will pay courtesy calls on the Royal Saudi Land Forces Commander, the Chief of General Staff of the Royal Saudi Armed Forces and senior military and civilian officials. During the meeting, he will discuss various issues of training and bilateral cooperation between the armies of the two countries. The Chief of Army Staff will visit the Armed Forces Staff College of Saudi Arabia and will perform the holy Umrah. General Shafiuddin will return to the country on May 27, 2023.
On the other hand, Saudi wants to make large-scale investments in Bangladesh, Kingdom’s ministers tell PM Hasina. Saudi Arabian Minister of Investment Khalid A. Al-Faliah and Minister of Economy and Planning Faisal Alibrahim came up with the offer when they jointly called on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her place of residence in Doha on May 23, 2023. The present situation and future of Bangladesh is very good and this is why they have taken the decision to strengthen its relation with Bangladesh, they say
Enhancing Military relations : On the initiative of King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia and under the leadership of Saudi Prime Minister and Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, the first Islamic military alliance in history was formed on 15 December 2015 comprising 34 Muslim countries including Bangladesh. (To be contd)