Bangladesh and the Maldives on Tuesday emphasised the need for stronger ties between the two countries and further improving the fraternal relations by exploring new avenues of cooperation.
Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen and his visiting Maldives counterpart Abdullah Shahid after delegation-level official talks at state guesthouse Padma told reporters that they reaffirmed the desire of the two countries to strengthen cooperation bilaterally, regionally and in the international arena.Abdullah Shahid said President of the Maldives Ibrahim Mohamed Solih will visit Bangladesh in March to join the celebrations of 50 years of Bangladesh's Independence and the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
His (President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s) upcoming visit to Bangladesh is a part of the move to strengthen relations between the two countries, the Maldives foreign minister added.
The President of the Maldives is looking forward to visiting Dhaka to pay homage to Bangabandhu and join the golden jubilee celebrations of Bangladesh’s independence.
Bangladesh and the Maldives also expressed their firm commitment to work together with other international partners in the Climate Agreement.
The two countries signed two Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) having provisions for taking more doctors, teachers, and skilled manpower for other sectors in the Maldives in addition to the existing Bangladeshi workforce in the country.
Currently, there are about 150,000 Bangladeshi workers in the Maldives and over 60,000 of them have become irregular.Meeting sources said the Maldives side agreed to regularise the Bangladeshis who became illegal and also provide all-out cooperation in repatriation of the Bangladeshi workers willing to return home voluntarily.
The two countries agreed to take the existing bilateral relationship to a new height through expanding connectivity, boosting trade and investment and strengthen the existing ties in the areas of health, medicine, education, human resources, defence and several other areas.
During the joint press briefing, Bangladesh Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen said the Maldives government has decided to provide Covid-19 vaccination for Bangladeshi nationals working in the Maldives.
To facilitate the vaccination drive in the Maldives, Momen said Bangladesh has decided to vaccinate nurses who will be providing services along with the Bangladeshi doctors already in the Maldives.
Maldivian Foreign Minister Abdullah Shahid arrived in Dhaka on Monday on a three-day official visit.
Another MoU was signed for cooperation between Foreign Service Academy of Bangladesh and the Foreign Service Institute of the Maldives to impart training to the young diplomats.
The Maldives foreign minister highly praised the Bangladesh’s tremendous success in the economic front and unprecedented development in socio-economic area under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's visionary leadership. He also lauded the Bangladesh government for tackling the corona situation.
Abdullah Shahid said his country will continue its all-out support for the repatriation of the displaced Rohingyas Muslims and trial of those involved in genocide on Rohingya population in 2017.
The Bangladesh side was attended by Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen, Secretary (East) Mashfee Binte Shams, Director General (South Asia) Mohammad Sarwar Mahmood and other senior officials.
While the Maldives Foreign Minister Shahid was assisted by Abdul Ghafoor, Foreign Secretary and Ms. Fathimath Ghina, Joint Secretary, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and High Commissioner of the Maldives to Bangladesh Ms. Shiruzimath Sameer.
Later, the Maldives delegation visited the genocide corner at the Foreign Ministry.
Abdullah Shahid, who is on a two-day official visit to Bangladesh, will pay courtesy call on President Md Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today.