President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has met with Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina as part of his first official state visit to the neighboring nation.

President Solih, First Lady Fazna, Foreign Minister Shahid and other high level officials of the Maldives Foreign Service arrived in Bangladesh for a three-day official visit on Wednesday.

While calling upon Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, President Solih conducted a one-on-one discussion with her before both parties launched into bilateral talks relating to the outstanding diplomatic relations between Maldives and Bangladesh. President Solih was confident that his first state visit to Bangladesh would help strengthen the relationship between the neighboring nations.

During the bilateral discussions, PM Sheikh Hasina revealed that Biman Bangladesh Airlines would soon commence flights to the Maldives, allowing ease of travel between the two countries. President Solih was very appreciative of this news, and went on to affirm his administration’s commitment to resolving problems faced by Bangladeshi migrant workers living in the Maldives. He reiterated the government’s pledge to protect the rights of migrant workers as part of his administrations wider migrant worker regularization programme.

President Solih and PM Sheikh Hasina went on to discuss bilateral cooperation between Maldives and Bangladesh in various areas, including trade, health, higher education, human resource development, cultural cooperation, regional governance, fisheries, agriculture, tourism and international cooperation.

In addition to this, both leaders welcomed the four Memorandums of Understandings agreed between Maldives and Bangladesh, which were also signed between high-level officials of both countries on Thursday.

The agreements signed between Maldives and Bangladesh during President Solih and the Maldivian delegation’s state visit to the country are as follows;

1. Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Government of the Republic of Maldives and the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh on the Establishment of the Maldives-Bangladesh Joint Commission on Comprehensive Cooperation.

2. MoU between the Government of the Republic of Maldives and the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh on the Establishment of Bilateral Consultations.

3. MoU between the Ministry of Fisheries, Marine Resources and Agriculture of the Republic of Maldives and the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, on the Establishment of the field of Fisheries and Pelagic Fishing.

4. MoU between the Government of the Republic of Maldives and the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh on the Establishment of Cultural Exchange Programme (CEP) for 2022-2025.

The agreements signed between Maldives and Bangladesh on Thursday will establish productive and comprehensive bilateral dialogue between the two countries, in addition to creating a joint commission to focus on substantive cooperation between the two countries and a cultural exchange programme to take place between 2022 and 2025.

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