Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday joined the concluding ceremony of a Saudi-led joint grand military exercise, ‘Gulf Shield-1’, at the Eastern Province of Al-Jubail in Saudi Arabia.
Sheikh Hasina was greeted by the Saudi King on her arrival at the venue as he oversaw the conclusion of the military drill in the presence of a number of leaders of friendly countries took part in the month-long exercise, said the Prime Minister’s press secretary Ihsanul Karim, reports UNB.
The Prime Minister joined the function at the invitation of the Saudi King and the custodian of the two holy mosques Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud as the parades of armed forces of 24 participating countries, including Bangladesh, featured the ceremony.
Saudi Arabia organised the military exercise for boosting defence cooperation and coordination with friendly countries to protect the Gulf regional security and peace through enhanced military readiness, also to ensure global peace.
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 participated in the exercise that began on March 18.
Spokesman for the military exercise Brigadier General Abdullah Al-Subaie on Saturday said the Saudi defence ministry organised the drill with participants from land, air and naval forces from 24 countries.
He said the drills featured two types of military operations with one being conventional military operations represented by coastal defense attacks against the enemy.
Another one, he said, was the irregular war operations carried out by besieging and penetrating villages and industrial installations so as to cleanse them of hostile elements.
The spokesman said one of the most important aims of the exercise was to activate the concept of joint military combat operations plans to counter hostile acts that could threaten the security and stability of the region.
"The exercise displayed the military uniformity between the participating countries, in addition to the development of a sense of collective security, unity and common destiny," he said.
The Saudi spokesman said the drill was also expected to strengthen the relationship between brothers and friends participating in the exercise, standardise and activate the systems and procedures of command, control, and communication of the participating forces and finally give training on logistics operations in military operations.
Analysts said the military exercise is considered one of the largest ones in the region, both in terms of the number of participating countries and the quality of its weapons.
Some of them called the Gulf Shield-1 drill a turning point in terms of the techniques used in accordance with the most modern military systems in the world.
Sheikh Hasina will leave Dammam for London on Monday afternoon (local time) to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) Summit there.
The Prime Minister is scheduled to return home at 9:15am on April 23.