Bangladesh’s partnership with countries in the Indian Ocean will become stronger through hosting the Indian Ocean Conference (IOC) in Dhaka on May 12-13, Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen said on Wednesday.
Mauritius President Prithvirajsing Roopun, minister and state minister-level delegation from 25 countries including Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar will attend the conference.
Briefing reporters at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dr Momen also said around 150 foreign guests will participate in the conference including representatives from D8, SAARC and BIMSTEC.
The participating ministers will also visit Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi 32 to pay re-spect to the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam said Bangladesh maintains good relations with Mauritius and the relations will further strengthen through the visit of the country’s president.
Responding to a question, Dr Momen said Myanmar was not invited to the conference.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate the conference at a Dhaka hotel on May 12. The Prime Minister will also host a dinner in honour of the guests.
The 6th edition of the conference is being organised by India Foundation in association with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Bangladesh.
With the theme of “Peace, Prosperity and Partnership for a Resilient Future”, the conference would bring together a luminary gathering of key stakeholders to chart the roadmap for strengthening the Indi-an Ocean Region.
External Affairs Minister of India Dr S. Jaishankar will deliver the keynote address of the evening alongside special addresses by the Deputy Secretary of State of USA Wendy Sherman and Vice Presi-dent of Maldives Faisal Naseem.
The inaugural session will also be graced by the presence of Foreign Minister Dr Momen and Foreign Minister of Oman Sayyid Badr bin Hamad bin Hamood Albusaidi.
The Foreign Minister of Singapore (Dr Vivian Balakrishnan) will be represented by Dr Maliki Osman, Minister in the Prime Ministers’ Office and Second Minister of Foreign Affairs of Singapore.
Official delegations led by Heads of State/Government, Deputy Heads, Cabinet Ministers, Deputy Minis-ters and Senior Officials from 27 countries and multilateral organizations will address the conference on May 13.
The conference will also bring together a gathering of over 300 social and corporate leaders, policy prac-titioners, scholars, professionals and media personnel from over 40 countries.
The Indian Ocean Conference (IOC) was started in 2016 and in the last six years it has emerged as the “flagship consultative forum” for countries in the region on regional affairs.
The conference endeavors to bring critical states and principal maritime partners of the region together on a common platform to deliberate upon the prospects of regional cooperation for Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR).
The first edition of the conference was held in Singapore in 2016.
It was attended by over 300 delegates from 22 countries including ministers, political leaders, diplomats, strategic thinkers, academics, and media.