IORA meeting to be successful with more avenues of cooperation: Shahriar

State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam on Thursday hoped that the 22nd IORA Council of Ministers (COM) meeting to be held in Dhaka on November 24 would be a “successful” one with more avenues of cooperation and collaboration on all relevant fronts.


Talking to a small group of reporters, he said Bangladesh is expecting minister-level delegation from 14 counties at the meeting.


The State Minister said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is coming to Bangladesh mainly to attend the IORA meeting.


Russia is a dialogue partner of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) while Bangladesh is the current chair of IORA.


Sri Lankan Foreign Minister MUM Ali Sabry is also among the ministers who will join the IROA event.


Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is likely to be here on November 23 to discuss bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest apart from his key focus on the IORA meeting.


Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen recently hinted that considering the current situation, Bangladesh will explore the possibility of cooperation in the energy sector with Russia during Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s planned official visit here later this month.


Bangladesh will also discuss food grains supply and quick implementation of the projects that are in the pipeline including the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant.


The Russian Foreign Minister is likely to meet Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina apart from his bilateral meeting with Momen.


The visit will give us an opportunity to highlight our challenges and priority issues with Russia, Foreign Secretary Masud told reporters on Sunday.


Masud also said Bangladesh wants Russia closer to Bangladesh to find a solution to the Rohingya crisis.


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The Foreign Secretary, however, said there are still many days and reminded that Russia remains in an intensive situation.


“The invitation to take part in the IORA meeting for Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov has been received and the work is on as regards the possibility of this visit,” an official at the Russian Embassy in Dhaka told UNB.


Earlier, Foreign Minister Momen invited his Russian counterpart to attend the 22nd IORA Council of Ministers (COM) meeting to be held in Dhaka on November 24.


Momen met his Russian counterpart last month in Astana, Kazakhstan on the sidelines of the CICA Summit and apprised him of the current situation of the Rohingya.


He stressed the need for stronger international support for resolving the Rohingya crisis.


In August, Sergey Lavrov met with his counterpart Wunna Maung Lwin and other top Myanmar officials in Naypyitaw.


The IORA Council of Ministers meeting, to be hosted by Bangladesh, will be preceded by the 24th meeting of the Committee of Senior Officials (CSO) to be held on November 22-23.


The Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) is an inter-governmental organisation aimed at strengthening regional cooperation and sustainable development within the Indian Ocean region through its 23 Member States and 10 dialogue partners.


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IORA member states are Australia, Bangladesh, Union of Comoros, French Republic, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Republic of Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Mozambique, Oman, Seychelles, Singapore, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.


The 23 member states of IORA and 10 dialogue partners are expected to join the ministerial and senior official meetings.


Bangladesh assumed the position of the IORA Chair at the 21st IORA COM meeting in Dhaka held on 17 November 2021 and adopted the theme of “Harnessing the opportunities of the Indian Ocean sustainably for inclusive development.”


Source: United News of Bangladesh