Dhaka seeks free, safe navigation
To enhance international trade and economic cooperation, Dhaka has called for freedom of navigation as well as safety and security of the sea lines of communication in the Indian Ocean.
“We must follow the path of cooperation and collaboration, not competition and conflict in tapping the full potentials of the Indian Ocean,” Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali said while speaking at a plenary session of the Indian Ocean Conference in Singapore yesterday.
He referred to the pragmatic actions taken by the Bangladesh government in peacefully settling its maritime problems with its neighbours -- India and Myanmar.
He cited piracy, terrorism, human trafficking as well as drug smuggling as key security challenges and urged all to cooperate in tackling these menaces.
He proposed that comprehensive security architecture based on mutual trust and partnership could be envisioned in this regard.
The minister highlighted the climate change risks and vulnerabilities being faced by the Indian Ocean bordering countries. He called upon the Indian Ocean countries to coordinate their resources in minimising adversities of climate change, with special focus on adaptation measures.
Mahmood Ali was leading the Bangladesh delegation. Former president of Maldives Maumoon Abdul Gayoom delivered the key note address.
On the sidelines of the conference, Mahmood Ali held a meeting with Singaporean Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan.
The Singapore foreign minister appreciated the actions taken by the Bangladesh government in tracking terror.
Reiterating his government's “zero tolerance” policy, the Bangladesh foreign minister apprised him of various security, political and social measures adopted in combating terrorism in Bangladesh.
The State Minister for External Affairs of India MJ Akbar called on the foreign minister.
Akbar renewed their support to Bangladesh in fight against terrorism and violent extremism.