PM leaves for Jakarta to attend IORA Summit

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DHAKA : Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina left here this morning for Indonesia on a three-day official visit to attend the Leaders’ Summit of Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA).

Biman Bangladesh Airlines flight carrying the Prime Minister and members of her entourage took off Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at 8.55 am.

The flight is scheduled to land at Halim Pardana Kusuma International Airport, Jakarta at 3 p.m. (Jakarta time).

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

Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali is accompanying the prime minister. Besides, a 60-member business delegation, headed by FBCCI President Abdul Matlub Ahmed is also accompanying her.

During the visit, Sheikh Hasina will also hold bilateral meetings with Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena.

Sheikh Hasina will join the opening ceremony of the summit tomorrow and attend the general debate on “Strengthening Maritime Cooperation for a Peaceful, Stable, and Prosperous Indian Ocean Rim”.

After concluding her three-day visit, Sheikh Hasina is scheduled to return home on Wednesday.

Indonesia is hosting the IORA Summit for the first time which officially launched its journey in 1997. This year’s Summit is being held with the theme “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.

Members of the association are- 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.

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