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President for building bridge among Indian Ocean littorals
Cox’s Bazar, BdChronicle:
President Abdul Hamid on Monday underscored the need for building a strong bridge among the Indian Ocean littorals with a collective sense of responsibility and sharing of resources to ensure safety of seafarers.
“The safety of lives at sea is a regional responsibility. Therefore, we’ll have to work together as a single entity and make proper use of the existing forums to build strong bridges among the Indian Ocean littorals,” he said while inaugurating the three-day Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) Multilateral Maritime Search and Rescue Exercise (IMMSAREX)-2017 at Inani Beach here.
Bangladesh Navy organised the symposium, first of kind in Bangladesh, where naval chiefs, high navy officials and warships of some 32 countries, including nine observer countries, are taking part to strengthen the exchange of information and use potential for the socio-economic development and for the cause of humanity in the Asia-Pacific and the adjoining oceans.
The President said although the geographical borders divide the countries, bridges of friendship across the ocean can unite all.
Mentioning that natural disasters like cyclone and tsunami are beyond the control of any single country, he said it has become apparent that the safety of lives at sea is a regional responsibility and all will have to work together as a single entity in this regard.
Describing Bangladesh as a peace-loving country, Abdul Hamid expressed his belief that a positive mindset and approach can boost confidence and resolve bilateral disputes among the regional countries.
Referring to Bangladesh’s significant role in various regional and global forums and organisations, he said it has set a bright example to the world by amicably resolving the maritime boundary disputes with both of its neighbours -- India and Myanmar.
The President said Bangladesh’s contribution to the United Nations peacekeeping missions as one of the highest troop sending country for the last two decades manifests its pledge towards world peace.
About Indian Ocean, he it has the greatest strategic and economic value which carries huge prospects and potential to facilitate maritime trade and commerce, economic prosperity, exploitation and exploration of the ocean resources.
Realising the immense potential of the maritime domain and emergence of ‘Blue Economy’ concept in the Indian Ocean region, the government has taken various initiatives to develop Bangladesh’s maritime sector, Abdul Hamid said.
Mentioning that Navy remains as a vigilant guardian in the sea frontier to support the government's Blue Economy agenda, he, however, said the thriving maritime economy can only prosper if a safe and secure environment can be ensured in the sea.