PM to visit Maldives from Dec 22, four MoUs likely to be signed: FM

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Dhaka, Dec 19: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will visit the Maldives from on December 22 at an invitation of Maldivian president Ibrahim Mohamed Solih where Dhaka and Male are likely to sign four Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) on different issues including overseas employment.

“The MoUs are likely to be signed on health, education, dual taxation, transfer of prisoners, youth and sports,” foreign minister Dr AK Abdul Momen told reporters at a curtain raiser press briefing regarding the PM’s visit at foreign service academy in the capital.

The four proposed MoUs are – Agreement on Avoidance of Double Taxation and Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income; Agreement on the Transfer of Prisoners; MoU in the areas of Health Care and Medical Sciences between Bangladesh and Maldives (renewal); MoU between Bangladesh and Maldives on Cooperation in the Area of youth and Sports Development.

Besides, Dr Momen said the MoU on Recruitment of Qualified Health Professionals between Bangladesh and the Maldives will be renewed.

During the two-day official visit, the foreign minister Bangladesh will gift 13 military vehicles to the Maldives as a token of friendship between the two south Asian nations.

Dr Momen said Maldives is the largest host country of Bangladeshi expatriate workers in the South Asia while it is expected that the Premier’s will create more job opportunities for both Bangladeshi skilled and non-skilled manpower.

On December 22, 2021, he said, Bangladesh prime minister is scheduled to arrive Male by a VVIP special flight in the afternoon where she will be received by Maldivian state minister for foreign affairs.

On December 23, Prime minister Sheikh Hasina will be formally received by Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih while a guard of honor to be accorded to the Bangladesh’s head of the government.

On the same day, Prime Minister will hold a bilateral meeting with the Maldivian president to discuss various issues at the Presidential Palace.

After the meeting, concerned officials of the two countries will sign the instruments in the presence of Bangladesh premier and the Maldivian president.

Dr Momen said, a joint statement will be issued between the two countries while the two leaders will jointly appear in front of media.

During the visit, he said, Maldivian Vice President, Speaker and Chief Justice are expected to pay courtesy calls to the Bangladeshi premier.

Sheikh Hasina is also expected to address the Maldivian National Parliament.

In the evening, Sheikh Hasina is scheduled to attend a state dinner to be hosted by the Maldivian President on her honor.

Besides, Momen said, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will also exchange greetings virtually with the Bangladeshis expatriate there.

The foreign minister said the Maldivian government has taken initiatives to conduct registration for all undocumented Bangladeshi migrant workers there to make their stay legalized.

Momen said the Maldivian government has informed that the island country which heavily depends on tourism, is planning to build resorts at its 60 more islands that will create huge job opportunity for the Bangladeshi workforce.

Regarding the connectivity, the foreign minister said, the direct air connectivity with Maldives has already been established by private carrier US-Bangla while the state-run Biman Bangladesh airlines is likely to start flight operation between Dhaka and Male soon.

The preparatory work of establishing shipping lines between Bangladesh and Maldives is under processed.

The foreign minister said Bangladesh would like to continue its friendly ties with all neighboring countries and Dhaka always gives importance on its ties with the South Asian nations.