Your Excellency, Sheikh Hasina, Honourable Prime Minister of Bangladesh,
Distinguished Members of the Bangladesh Delegation,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a great honour and privilege for me to welcome Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, and her distinguished delegation to the Maldives.
The Maldives and Bangladesh enjoy a traditionally and historically close relationship.
As close neighbors in the region, we share much in common through our values, faith and traditions.
Our interactions have heightened, including the exchange of high-level visits during the past year, bringing a sense of renewed dynamism to the Maldives – Bangladesh relations.
My Government is committed to advancing our relationship even further.
This year in particular is extremely special for the Honourable Prime Minister and the people of Bangladesh.
The Government and the people of Maldives, join me in congratulating Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the Government and the people of Bangladesh, on the auspicious occasions of the Birth Centenary of the esteemed Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, and the golden jubilee of Bangladesh’s independence.
The Maldives commends Her Excellency, the Government and the people of Bangladesh on the significant progress made in economic, social and political areas.
Our warmest congratulations to Your Excellency and the people of Bangladesh on qualifying to graduate from the UN’s list of Least Developed Countries to a developing country.
Honourable Prime Minister, Ladies and Gentlemen,
During this visit, the Prime Minister and I held official talks and reviewed the progress made since our meeting last March.
The agreements exchanged today, on Avoidance of Double Taxation; MoU on the Recruitment of Health Professionals; the renewed MoU on collaboration for the improvement of healthcare systems and addressing public health challenges; and the MoU on Cooperation in Youth and Sports Development, will contribute to further advancing our bilateral cooperation.
The Prime Minister and I also exchanged views on the biggest challenges facing us today – the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, which has gravely impacted our lives and we agreed that vaccine equity is crucial to end the pandemic.
I take this opportunity to thank Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and the people of Bangladesh for their generous assistance towards our efforts in combatting the Covid-19 pandemic, on multiple fronts.
We acknowledge Bangladesh’s significant contribution to Maldives in the areas of health, higher education, human resource development and defence.
Let me take a moment here to thank the Honourable Prime Minister for the generous donation of military vehicles gifted today.
On the health front, in addition to the opportunities to study medicine and internships for Maldivian students, the MoU on Recruitment of Health Professionals will greatly assist us in strengthening the capacity of health sector.
We agreed to intensify collaboration through increased opportunities for higher education, vocational training and skills development for Maldivian students in Bangladesh.
Sports is one of the tools to empower youth through contribution to their physical and mental well-being as well as in instilling values and skills.
Today, we exchanged an agreement that will formalize collaboration in this important area.
Honourable Prime Minister and I also agreed to exchange knowledge and assistance in the areas of fisheries and agriculture.
We also discussed avenues to expand economic and trade cooperation, increased connectivity and tourism between Maldives and Bangladesh.
The Agreement on the Avoidance of Double Taxation and Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect to Income Taxes that we exchanged today marks a crucial step forward in promoting economic cooperation.
We look forward to enhancing our interactions on trade and investment.
I conveyed our gratitude to the important socioeconomic contributions made by Bangladeshi workers in the Maldives.
I also thanked Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and the Government of Bangladesh for their support to the regularization programme of Bangladeshi workers.
I also requested Bangladesh to consider reinstating visa on arrival for Maldivians traveling to Bangladesh, as well as long term student visa for Maldivian students in Bangladesh, based on the close and friendly relations between our two countries.
In addition to bilateral issues, the Prime Minister and I also discussed regional and international issues of mutual concern.
We concurred that effective multilateralism is key to resolving priority issues of the day, and achieving global peace and security.
We remain committed to work together at the United Nations and other multilateral fora.
I am glad to note that climate change remains on top of the Prime Minister’s agenda. In this regard, we agreed to step up our efforts to address the climate emergency.
I conveyed the Maldives' commitment to seek justice for the atrocities committed against the Rohingya people.
We applaud Bangladesh's Government and people for their generosity and humanitarianism in providing safety and shelter to the displaced Rohingya community living in Bangladesh.
Through SAARC and other platforms such as the Indian Ocean Rim Association, the Prime Minister and I agreed that terrorism, violent extremism, and radicalization must be addressed to achieve regional security, prosperity, stability and peace.
I also thanked the Honourable Prime Minister and the Government of Bangladesh for their support to the candidature of Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid, for the Presidency of the 76th UN General Assembly.
As candidates for the United Nations Human Rights Council for the term 2023-2025, we agreed to work together and exchange reciprocal support.
Honourable Prime Minister, I thank you for your personal commitment to maintain excellent Maldives-Bangladesh relations.
I wish Your Excellency, and the people of Bangladesh peace, progress and prosperity and a happy and joyous stay in the Maldives.