A deserted street is pictured during a government-imposed lockdown as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus in Dhaka on March 26, 2020. (Photo by MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP via Getty Images)
BANGLADESH is seeking to postpone the summit of D-8 Organization for Economic Cooperation scheduled to be held in May in the country over concerns of spreading COVID-19 pandemic.
Bangladesh is all set to host the 10th D-8 summit in the capital Dhaka. Last year, Turkey hosted the summit in Istanbul, marking the 20th anniversary of the organization’s foundation.
The D-8 was established in 1997 for economic cooperation among eight countries including Turkey, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, and Nigeria.
“You may be sure that amid the prevailing situation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is not possible at all to hold such a big conference,” foreign minister AK Abdul Momen said.
“The D-8 conference means a huge gathering of thousands of people and presence of huge number of high profile delegates of different countries. So we don’t want to take any risk in this situation.”
The minister said he issued a letter to his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu seeking his advice in this regard, as Turkey is the current chair of the Developing-8 group.
Momen said lockdowns will continue in most of the countries throughout April and in the meantime the Muslim holy Ramadan will begin. “So we have informed our position to Turkey to postpone the summit.”
“Turkey has requested us to hold a video conference with focal point on COVID-19 pandemic and its imminent impacts,” the top diplomat said.
The concerned departments of both countries are working on how to successfully organize the video conference, he added.