Bangladesh High Commissioner (HC) to the United Kingdom Saida Muna Tasneem on Wednesday presented her credentials to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at the Buckingham Palace.
Earlier, marshal of the diplomatic corps Alistair Harrison in his ceremonial attire came to the high commission in Queens’ Gate to pick up and escort the high commissioner in a Royal Horse Carriage with two escorting Royal Horse Guards to the credential ceremony at the Buckingham Palace, a press release said here today.
Thousands of tourists greeted the high commissioner outside the palace and throughout the horse carriage route took photographs, it added.
Permanent under Secretary and Head of the British Diplomatic Service Sir Simon McDonald, Assistant Marshal of the Diplomatic Corps and a senior official of the Royal Protocol welcomed the High Commissioner at the Grand Entrance of the Buckingham Palace.
Having escorted the High Commissioner to the designated credential place, Marshal of Her Majesty introduced the High Commissioner and her spouse Tauhidul I Chaudhury to Her Majesty the Queen.
The High Commissioner then formally presented the Letters of her Credence and the Letter of Recall of her predecessor to the Queen.
She conveyed the warm greetings of President Md Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to the Queen and wished her good health, long life and prosperity of the friendly people of the UK.
Reminiscing the visits of the Queen to Dhaka in 1961 and to independent Bangladesh in 1983, the High Commissioner reaffirmed the high esteem and admiration which the people of Bangladesh still hold in their hearts for the Queen and praised her six decades of leadership as the Head of the 53-nation Commonwealth.
She also recalled the support of the government and the people of UK during the War of Liberation in 1971 and the warm reception of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in London by the then British Prime Minister and the people on 8 January, 1972 on his way back to Bangladesh.
She also requested Her Majesty to include two forests of Bangladesh including one in Sylhet in the “Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy”, an initiative began in 2015 as a network of forest conservation programmes throughout the Commonwealth of Nations.
The High Commissioner gave her a brief account of developments in different sectors including education, healthcare, and women empowerment in Bangladesh in recent years under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
The Queen welcomed the High Commissioner to the UK and praised Bangladesh’s socio-economic development especially the women empowerment.
On the occasion, the High Commissioner introduced her officers to the Queen who accompanied her to the Palace.
The officers included Defence Adviser Brigadier General AKM Aminul Haque, Minister (Consular) Md Lutful Hasan, Commercial Counsellor S M Jakaria Huq and First Secretary Md Shafiul Alam.
Assistant Marshal of the Diplomatic Corps Abigail Boyle in two Royal Carriages also escorted the High Commissioner, her spouse and the accompanying officers during their return from the Palace to a post-Credential reception at the St James’ Court.
Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen, a good number of Lords, Baronesses, MPs, MEPs, heads of diplomatic missions, high officials of the Palace and Foreign Office, Home Office, DFID, Department of Transport, Secretary General of the Commonwealth and Secretary General the IMO, academics, professionals, journalists, eminent community members, social and business leaders attended the reception of over 350 distinguished guests.
High Commissioner Tasneem, joined the London Mission on 30 November 2018 as the 20th High Commissioner and the first woman High Commissioner for Bangladesh to the UK, Ireland and Liberia.
She has also been appointed as Bangladesh’s Permanent Representative to the IMO. Prior to this, Tasneem was the Bangladesh Ambassador to Thailand and Cambodia and Bangladesh’s Permanent Representative to the UNESCAP from 2014-2018. -BSS