Vice President Faisal Naseem has concluded his official visit to Bangladesh.
The vice president departed from Velana International Airport (VIA) on Wednesday and the purpose of his visit was to attend the Indian Ocean Conference (IOC) 2023.
The sixth IOC was held from May 12 – 13 in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
VP Naseem returned to Maldives after concluding his visit, on Tuesday.
As part of his visit, VP Naseem delivered remarks at the inaugural session of the two-day conference.
Themed around "Peace, Prosperity, and Partnership for a Resilient Future", the IOC 2023 aimed to bring together key stakeholders to chart the roadmap to strengthen regional cooperation in the Indian Ocean Region.
During the brief visit, VP Naseem met with the Maldivian community residing in Bangladesh.
VP Naseem he also held meetings with high-level dignitaries of the Bangladeshi government.
During his meeting with the Maldivian community residing in Bangladesh, VP Naseem stated that the incumbent administration’s decision to increase healthcare sector wages is expected to encourage more students to pursue higher studies in the sector.
Highlighting that the incumbent administration of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has been undertaking ambitious plans to enhance healthcare services across the country, VP Naseem shed light on the importance of increasing the number of trained professionals in the workforce.
He also stated that the Solih administration prioritizes training teachers and doctors who offer invaluable services and added that many Maldivian medical students and others in specialized fields choose to attain higher education at Bangladeshi institutions.
VP Naseem went on to note that the close bilateral relations between the two countries have resulted in easing visa facilitation for Maldivian students.
The Vice President also spoke about the Maldivian communities living abroad and stated that the Solih administration is committed to provide them with the necessary services without discrimination.
He also noted that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs would continue to closely monitor the situation of Maldivian students and families living abroad.
In his address at IOC 2023, VP Naseem stated that preserving the peace and security in the Indian Ocean region is a key foreign policy priority of President Solih.
Reflecting on this year’s IOC theme, VP Naseem stressed on the fact that proactive measures that promote transformation are required for a resilient and sustainable future.
Highlighting that managing risks and doubt involves adaptive management, learning, innovation, and leadership, VP Naseem noted that the Solih administration is mindful of the obstacles that threaten stable socioeconomic progress in the Indian Ocean region.
These obstacles, VP Naseem said include non-traditional security threats such as terrorism, human trafficking, irregular migration, drug smuggling, and illegal, unreported as well as unregulated fishing.
Emphasizing that small, low-lying coastal settlements such as the Maldives are left particularly vulnerable to climate pressures due to the illegal exploitation of marine resources and the degradation of ocean health, VP Naseem highlighted that the Indian Ocean Region is home to some of the world's fastest-growing civilizations and serves as a hub for trade with the Middle East, Africa, East Asia, Europe, and America.
The Vice President stressed that it is the responsibility of all nations to ensure the peace, economic prosperity, environmental protection and international rules in the region.
With this, he urged on the IOC 2023 participants to build partnerships based on mutual respect and trust to resolve outstanding issues and promote prosperity, sustainability and stability in the Indian Ocean region through a rules-based approach.
Further, the vice president also attended a dinner hosted by Prime Minister of the People's Republic of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina, in honor of the visiting foreign dignitaries attending the sixth IOC, at the Intercontinental Hotel on Friday.
VP Naseem also paid a courtesy call on President of the People's Republic of Bangladesh Mohammad Shahabuddin during his brief visit.
During the meeting held at the Bangladeshi Presidential Palace, Bangabhaban, VP Naseem conveyed felicitations on behalf of President Solih to the Bangladeshi President on his appointment as the new President of Bangladesh.
The meeting saw VP Naseem and the Bangladeshi President engaging in discussions regarding the four and a half decades of diplomatic relations between Maldives and Bangladesh.
Other topics of mutual interest were also discussed at the meeting.
Diplomatic relations were established between Maldives and Bangladesh on 22 September 1978.