Bilateral Relations between Bangladesh-Montenegro
Bilateral relation with Montenegro, being a part of former Yugoslavia, is rooted in history. After its independence on 16 December 1971, Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY) was one of the first European countries to recognize Bangladesh on 22 January 1972. Subsequently, it played an important role for securing Bangladesh’s membership in different international organizations including UN and NAM. Bangladesh established its Embassy in Belgrade in May 1972. The two countries, as members of NAM, developed close and friendly relations. At the invitation of Bangladesh Government, the then Prime Minister of Yugoslavia H.E. Mr. Dzemal Bijedic paid a State Visit to Dhaka from 25-28 March 1973. Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, at the invitation of Mr. Bijedic, visited Yugoslavia during 26-31 July 1973. Later on, President Josip Broz Tito (Marshall Tito) visited Bangladesh from 29 January-02 February 1974. Presidential visits also took place from Bangladesh side in 1978, 1980 and 1983. Bangladesh-Yugoslavia Joint Commission was established in 1975, and its fifth and last session was held in Dhaka from 23-26 January 1987.
It may be mentioned here that due to the internal political situation in Yugoslavia leading to eventual disintegration, the country closed their mission in Dhaka in early 1992. Bangladesh also closed down its Embassy in Belgrade on 31 August 1992. Bangladesh Government and Serbia, successor State of former Yugoslavia, again decided to exchange their diplomatic Missions in 2003. In the year 2005, both the countries had appointed their Ambassadors in Rome and New Delhi as non-resident Ambassadors to Belgrade and Dhaka respectively.
Bilateral relations between the two countries got a new boost when Bangladesh Government decided to award former President of the country Mr. Josip Broz Tito as "Bangladesh liberation War Honour" who made immense contribution during the War of Liberation. Mr. Aleksandar Broz, the son of late President Josip Broz Tito, visited Bangladesh in March 2012 to receive the ‘Honour’ conferred to his father. Current Serbian Ambassador to Italy in Rome, Mr. Goran Aleksic, who happens to be nephew of late Tito, also accompanied Mr. Aleksandar for the Award ceremony.
Bangladesh Embassy in Madrid, Spain remained concurrently accredited to Montenegro, the newly emerged southern-east European country till it was assigned to Bangladoot, Rome under re-allocation of concurrent responsibilities since 09 July 2020. Currently, H.E. Mr. Md. Shameem Ahsan, Bangladesh Ambassador to Italy, is accredited as the Ambassador of Bangladesh to Montenegro with residence in Rome and he has presented his credentials to H.E. Mr. Milo Djukanovic, President of Montenegro on 09 December 2021 at the Presidential Palace of Montenegro in Cetinje.
Following the presentation of credentials by Ambassador Ahsan, he had a fairly long meeting with the President. During their discussion, they noted the historically close ties between Bangladesh and Montenegro and stressed on exploring new areas of cooperation. The Ambassador also called on a number of dignitaries, as under, who expressed their keen desire to work closely with Bangladesh to forge mutually beneficial strong relations.
(a) H. E. Ms. Vesna Bratić, Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sports on 10 December 2021
(b) H. E. Ambassador Ljubomir Mišurović, State Secretary (Foreign Secretary), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Montenegro on 10 December 2021
(c) Ms. Zdenka Radulovic, Chief of Diplomatic Protocol (Chief of Protocol), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Montenegro on 08 December 2021
(d) Ms. Jelena Jankovic Kostic, Director General, Directorate of Trade Cooperation and Foreign Economic Relations on 10 December 2021
(e) Mr. Milos Nikolic, Director, Directorate for OSCE and the Council of Europe, Directorate General for Multilateral and International Legal Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 10 December 2021
(d) Ms. Jevrosima Pejovic, Acting Director, Directorate for Labour and Employment, Ministry of Economic Development, Montenegro on 09 December 2021
(e) Dr. Vladimir Bozovic, Acting Rector (Vice Chancellor), University of Montenegro on 10 December 2021
Both the countries have agreed to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on bilateral Foreign Office Consultations (FOC) during the visit of the Ambassador to Podgorica, the capital of Montenegro. A draft has been sent from Bangladesh side in 27 December 2021 on the proposed FOC which is currently lying with Montenegrin side. There are huge potentials to strengthen relations specially in respect of trade, tourism and people to people contacts between the two friendly countries. Private sectors of the two countries have the potential for forging meaningful cooperation as the Chamber of Commerce of Montenegro and the Global Economic Forum are already under a framework agreement resulting in - Montenegro Bangladesh Business Council. The Mission is currently working to make the forum more active to promote economic and commercial interests of the two countries. Keeping in mind the 50 years of diplomatic relations between Dhaka and Belgrade, the Mission is drawing suitable progarmmes to organize some specific activities to mark the occasion jointly between Bangladesh and Montenegro.