Dhaka,July 9 (BDNews24): : France and Germany who had been bitter enemies in the past, are now sharing an embassy in Bangladesh as a political project to demonstrate unity.
“For us it’s a political project,” the German envoy Thomas Prinz said, while inaugurating the building in Baridhara together with his French counterpart Sophie Aubert on Sunday.
The joint embassy building symbolises that “arch enemies can be good friends,” Prinz said.
The Franco-German embassy in Dhaka brings under one roof two countries that were once bitter enemies, a first among such embassies around the world.
The two countries work together in Kuwait, but operate from a rented building. They have been planning joint embassies in Beirut, Cairo and Khartoum.
Europe’s two most powerful nations have been partners since their signing of the Elysée Treaty in 1963.
The five-storey building was constructed using bricks of two colours – grey symbolised the French rooms while red adorned the German side.
But the European Union countries will share a common entrance, visa section and meeting room, among other shared spaces.
The exterior design of the building resembled the structure of a DNA, symbolising close ties between France and Germany.
On Sep 21 of 2015, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier attended a launching ceremony of the under-construction building in Dhaka. The project was initiated in 2012.
French Ambassador Aubert on Sunday said they wanted to inaugurate the joint embassy before the French National Day is celebrated on Jul 14.
She said the idea was to convey “our strong relations with Germany”.
Bangladesh maintains close relations with both the countries. Germany is for Bangladesh the largest single-country trading destination in the EU, where all its products enjoy duty-free market access.
The two-way trade with Germany is over $5 billion, consisting mostly of Bangladesh’s exports. With France, the trade is about $2 billion.
(The featured picture at the top shows the newly built Franco-German embassy in Dhaka)