Maldives rolls out red carpet as PM Sheikh Hasina arrives


Maldives rolled out the red carpet to welcome Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina as she arrived on Wednesday on her maiden six-day bilateral visit at the invitation of the county’s President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.

“A special VVIP flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines carrying Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her entourage members landed at the Velana International Airport at 3pm local time,” told the Prime Minister’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim.

Maldivian state minister for foreign affairs received the premier while a static guard of honor was given to her. Later, she was escorted to the place of residence in a ceremonial motorcade.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will be formally received by Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih tomorrow (On December 23) while a guard of honor and other ceremonial will be accorded to the Bangladesh’s head of the government.

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen, Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Maleque and Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Imran Ahmad are accompanying the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Earlier, the special VVIP flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines took off from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA) at 12.10pm today.

During her visit, four instruments, including two Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs), are likely to be signed tomorrow (December 23).

The four proposed deeds are — Agreement on Avoidance of Double Taxation and Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income, Agreement on the Transfer of Prisoners, MoU in the areas of Health Care and Medical Sciences between Bangladesh and Maldives (renewal) and MoU between Bangladesh and Maldives on Cooperation in the Area of youth and Sports Development.

Besides, the MoU on Recruitment of Qualified Health Professionals between Bangladesh and the Maldives will be renewed.

During the visit, Bangladesh will gift 13 military vehicles to the Maldives as a token of friendship between the two South Asian nations.

On the second day of her visit, the Bangladeshi premier will have a bilateral meeting with the Maldivian President to discuss various issues at the Presidential Palace.

After the meeting, concerned officials of the two countries will sign the instruments in presence of the Bangladesh prime minister and the Maldivian president.

A joint statement will be issued while the two leaders will jointly appear in front of media.

In the visit, Maldivian Vice-President Faisal Naseem, Speaker of the People’s Majlis, Maldivian National Parliament, Mohammed Nasheed and Chief Justice Uz Ahmed Muthasim Adnan are expected to pay courtesy call on the Bangladesh premier at the meeting room of Hotel Jen, Male.

The prime minister will address the Maldives parliament on December 23 afternoon.

In the evening, Sheikh Hasina is scheduled to attend a state banquet to be hosted by the Maldivian President and the country’s First Lady in her honor.

On December 24, she will join a virtual community reception to be accorded by the Bangladeshi expatriates in Male. The premier is scheduled to return home on December 27. -BSS