DHAKA: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina joined the concluding ceremony of ‘Gulf Shield-1’, a Saudi-led joint grand military exercise in the kingdom's eastern province of Al- Jubail Monday (April 16).
Parades of armed forces of 24 participating countries including Bangladesh featured the ceremony.
Sheikh Hasina attended the function at the invitation of Saudi King and the custodian of the two holy mosques Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud.
Saudi king greeted her on arrival at the venue as he oversaw the conclusion of the military drill along with leaders of friendly countries which took part in the exercise, said her press secretary Ihsanul Karim.
Saudi Arabia organized the drill for boosting defence cooperation and coordination with friendly countries to protect the Gulf region's security and peace through enhanced military readiness.
The participating countries were the USA, the UK, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Egypt, Jordan, Sudan, Mauritania, Malaysia, Pakistan, Chad, Djibouti, Niger, Comoros, Afghanistan, Oman, Guyana, Turkey, and Burkina Faso.
An 18-member delegation of Bangladesh Armed Forces took part in the month-long exercise that began on March 18.
The drill was also expected to strengthen the relationship between brothers and friends participating in the exercise, standardize and activate the systems and procedures of command, control, and communication of the participating forces, said Saudi Arabia.
Experts considered the exercise as one of the largest in the region.
However, Sheikh Hasina was scheduled to leave Dammam in the afternoon to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) Summit in London.
BDST: 2004 HRS, APR 16, 2018