PM Hasina reaches Jakarta to attend IORA Summit

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Themorningbellbd.com desk, March 6: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina reached Jakarta on a three-day official visit to Indonesia to attend the Leaders’ Summit of Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), a grouping of nations having coastlines with the world’s third largest ocean.

Indonesian Minister for Female Empowerment and Children Protection Dr Yohana Susana Yembise and Bangladesh Ambassador in Jakarta Major General Azmal Kabir received the premier at the Halim Pardana Kusuma International Airport here.

A Biman Bangladesh Airlines aircraft took off Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at 8.55 am carrying the Prime Minister and her entourage and landed at Jakarta at 2.50pm local time, after nearly five hours of flight.

Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, Commerce Minister Tofael Ahmed, Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister Rashed Khan Menon, Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Kader, PM’s advisor HT Imam, Chief Whip A S M Firoz, chiefs of three services and senior officials saw her off at the Shahjalal airport.

Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali is accompanying the premier, who also leads a 60-member business delegation headed by FBCCI President Abdul Matlub Ahmed.

Officials earlier said the premier was scheduled to hold bilateral meetings with Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on the sidelines of the summit.

The premier will join the opening ceremony of the summit on Tuesday and attend the general debate on “Strengthening Maritime Cooperation for a Peaceful, Stable, and Prosperous Indian Ocean Rim” touching countries in three continents of Asia, Australia and Africa.

She is scheduled to return home on Wednesday.

Indonesia hosts the Summit for the first time since the launching of IORA in 1997 while the theme of meet this year is “Strengthening Maritime Cooperation for a Peaceful, Stable, and Prosperous Indian Ocean”.

The Summit will bring together leaders of 21-member association, seven dialogue partners and individuals working for promoting cooperation and closer interaction in the region. The summit will adopt a strategic action plan on countering violent extremism and terrorism, sources in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) said.

IORA comprises Australia, Bangladesh, Comoros, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mozambique, Oman, Seychelles, Singapore, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, the UAE and Yemen.

The dialogue partners of the association are China, Egypt, France, Germany, Japan, the UK and the USA.

Source: BSS