Lebanon was one of the first few countries in the Middle-East to recognize Bangladesh at the early stage of her independence. Diplomatic relations between Bangladesh and Lebanon was established following Lebanon’s recognition of Bangladesh on 28 March 1973. Soon after, Bangladesh established a resident mission in Lebanon in 1973. During the Liberation War, Bangladesh was able to open its first Information Centre in Beirut in 1971 in the Middle East region. Lebanon, therefore, had served as a convenient springboard for Bangladesh. Unfortunately, after the outbreak of civil war in Lebanon from 1975 onwards and the consequent deteriorating security situation, Bangladesh was compelled to wind up its Mission in Beirut in April 1976. Bangladesh reopened its Embassy in Beirut in July 2013.
Bangladesh and Lebanon enjoy very cordial relations. There is no contentious issue between the two countries. As a member of the OIC, Bangladesh has always supported the cause of Lebanon in the UN and in other international forums. Bangladesh has always stood by Lebanon in solidarity during the latter’s difficult times. Even in the after math of the recent twin suicide attacks (2015) in South Lebanon, both the Hon’ble Prime Minister and the Hon’ble Foreign Minister sent messages of condolences to their Lebanese counterpart expressing their solidarity with the government and the people of Lebanon in their fight against terrorism. Following the Israeli bombardment over Lebanon in 2006, Bangladesh also supported Lebanon’s cause. The then Bangladesh Foreign Minister met with the Lebanese Foreign Minister on the sidelines of the UNGA and conveyed Bangladesh’s decision to participate in the expanded UNIFIL.
Lebanon has a very vibrant culture and people. Lebanon is located at a meeting point of three continents i.e. Asia, Europe and Africa. It has been the crossroad of many civilizations, traces of which can still be seen today. Lebanon encompasses a great mix of cultures and ethnic groups which have been building up for over thousands of years. It was home to the Phoenicians and was subsequently conquered and occupied by the Assyrians, the Persians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Arabs, the Crusaders, the Ottoman Turks and the French. This variety is reflected in Lebanon’s diverse population, composed of different religious groups, and features in the country’s festivals, musical styles, literature, cuisine and architecture. Therefore, the scope for cooperation between the two countries is immense.