Bangladesh and the Maldives agree to address and counter threats posed by organized crime, piracy, drug trafficking and human trafficking, through multilateral and regional forums, including the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), with the aim of bringing security, stability and peace to the Indian Ocean region.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and President of the Maldives Ibrahim Mohamed Solih agreed on the importance of working together bilaterally, regionally and internationally to address the growing threat of terrorism, violent extremism and radicalization, according to a joint statement released Thursday.
The two leaders stressed that regional organizations such as the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation have an important role to play in promoting regional cooperation in many areas, especially in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. In progress.
The Bangladeshi side stressed that the country has assumed the presidency of IORA for the first time, since October 2021 and requested the support of the Maldives to work together for greater maritime safety and security in the Indian Ocean region. .
President Solih congratulated Bangladesh and assured it of the Maldives’ cooperation in this regard.
Solih thanked Sheikh Hasina for the generous donation of military vehicles, acknowledging the goodwill and friendship extended to the Maldives by the government of Bangladesh.
President Solih reaffirmed the Maldives’ support for Bangladesh on the issue of forcibly displaced Burmese nationals.
The President added that the Maldives continue to condemn in the strongest terms the atrocities committed against the Rohingya Muslim community in Myanmar and stand in solidarity with the Rohingya people.
Solih further commended Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and the government of Bangladesh for graciously welcoming the displaced Rohingya community, providing them with protection and shelter, and his efforts to facilitate their peaceful and dignified repatriation to their countries of origin.
President Solih and Prime Minister Hasina reiterated their commitment to promote and protect human rights in all their forms.
They also agreed to give their full support to the candidatures presented by one or the other country in various international organizations, including the United Nations. The two leaders reiterated their commitment to promote human rights.
At the invitation of President Solih, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is currently on a state visit to the Maldives from December 22 to 23, said the joint statement shared by the Foreign Ministry.
Sheikh Hasina is accompanied by a high-level delegation, including Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen, Minister of Expatriate Welfare and Overseas Employment Imran Ahmad, Minister of Health and Welfare -being family Zahid Maleque and senior officials of the government of Bangladesh. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina received a solemn welcome in Male.
The two leaders agreed that connectivity in all its forms was crucial to promote tourism and trade, and also stressed the rapid launch of the direct sea link.
They welcomed the launch of flights between Dhaka and Male by US Bangla Airlines, noting that this will boost people-to-people contacts and business opportunities between the two countries.
Appreciating the enormous contribution made by Bangladeshi expatriates to the socio-economic development of the Maldives, President Solih stressed that a large number of Bangladeshi workers remain undocumented and vulnerable to exploitation.
The two leaders noted the importance of regularization and recognized the urgency of the rapid conclusion of the Memorandum of Understanding on “Cooperation on Migrant Workers” and instructed their respective authorities to institute modalities to speed up the processing. of this question.
President Solih thanked Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for the assurance of reinstating a visa on arrival for Maldivian travelers to Bangladesh.
He also asked him to facilitate long-term student visas for Maldivian students for the full duration of their studies.
President Solih and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina stressed the importance of multilateralism and stressed their commitment to work together at the United Nations and other multilateral fora on issues of global concern.
He thanked Sheikh Hasina for supporting the candidacy of Abdulla Shahid, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Maldives, for the presidency of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly.
Hasina congratulated President Solih on the assumption of the presidency of Abdulla Shahid and wished every success in the exercise of his “presidency of hope”.
The two leaders expressed concern over the climate emergency, noting that the effects of climate change are having a direct and negative impact on the livelihoods and well-being of people in island nations and low-lying coastal states like the Maldives and Bangladesh.
President Solih congratulated Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for his leadership as chair of the Climate Vulnerable Forum.
The two leaders agreed to step up their combined efforts to address the climate emergency and offered to strengthen cooperation and knowledge exchange between the two countries on climate change adaptation and disaster management.
At the end of the official talks, the two leaders attended the exchange of the following bilateral instruments between the two countries: memorandum of understanding on the recruitment of health professionals, renewal of the memorandum of understanding on cooperation in health and medical sciences, memorandum of understanding on youth and sport development, agreement on double taxation.
Prime Minister Hasina thanked President Solih for the warm welcome and gracious hospitality extended to him and the members of his delegation during their stay in the Maldives.
President Solih reiterated the Maldives’ request to strengthen cooperation between the two countries in the areas of health, higher education and human resource development.
He thanked Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and appreciated Bangladesh’s willingness to help the Maldives in these areas, increasing opportunities for higher education in multiple areas, including professional training and internships for medical students.
The two leaders have asked their respective officials to coordinate to work out details in this regard.
The two leaders were delighted to see that an increasing number of Maldivian students are choosing Bangladesh as one of their preferred destinations for their higher education.
President Solih called for expanding the scope of higher education institutions for Maldivian students.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina welcomed the proposal and informed that the government of Bangladesh would be happy to expand specialist courses and post-graduation internships for Maldivian health professionals.
The two leaders noted with satisfaction the adoption of the calendar of activities (2022-2023) of the Cultural Exchange Program (2022-2025) signed in March 2021 by the two countries.
The two leaders noted that countries have been culturally linked for more than eight hundred years and insisted on the need for more collaboration in the field of culture and heritage to strengthen this link.
Sheikh Hasina offered to help the Maldives with agriculture and information and communication technologies, where Bangladesh has considerable expertise. In return, President Solih offered a knowledge transfer in fishing and pelagic fishing.
The two leaders also stressed the need to promote sustainable governance of ocean and environmental resources and offered to collaborate on blue economy initiatives of the two countries.
Considering the large proportion of young people in both countries, Solih and Hasina stressed the importance of creating an enabling environment with opportunities to achieve their aspirations.
Solih welcomed Hasina’s initiative for the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) and the holding of trade secretaries-level meetings to discuss trade-related issues in detail at the earliest.