Minister of Foreign Affairs His Excellency Abdulla Shahid holds a telephone conversation with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh His Excellency H.E. Dr. A. K. Abdul Momen, M.P.

28 March 2020

Foreign Minister Shahid has held a telephone conversation with his counterpart, Foreign Minister Abdul Momen of Bangladesh.

Foreign Minister Shahid conveyed greetings on the 49th anniversary of the independence of Bangladesh, and the celebration of the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation Sheikh Mujubur Rahman.

Briefing Foreign Minister Abdul Momen on the COVID-19 situation and measures implemented in Maldives, Foreign Minister Shahid said that the crisis is having an enormous impact on the fragile economy of the Maldives, highly dependent on tourism and imports.

Acknowledging the enormous challenges to Bangladesh due to the dense population and limited capacity, Foreign Minister Shahid commended the Government of Bangladesh on their efforts to address the COVID-19 pandemic in Bangladesh.

Foreign Minister Shahid noted the importance of regional cooperation on tackling COVID-19 and noted that timely establishment of a SAARC COVID-19 emergency fund, to which Maldives has pledged US $ 200,000.

Foreign Minister Shahid requested assistance from the Government of Bangladesh in ensuring the well-being of Maldivians remaining in Bangladesh, and the repatriation of those wishing to return to the Maldives due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Foreign Minister Shahid assured that the Government of Maldives will do its best to ensure the welfare of Bangladeshi citizens in Maldives, and conveyed gratitude on the substantial contribution made by Bangladeshi workers to the economy and society of Maldives. However, noting that a large number of them are undocumented, he requested cooperation and assistance of the Government of Bangladesh to expedite the issuance of identification documents during the regularisation programme initiated by the Ministry of Economic Development.

Foreign Minister Dr. Abdul Momen assured the full support and cooperation of the Government of Bangladesh in the efforts of the Government of Maldives to regularise and repatriate undocumented workers.

In concluding the call, Foreign Minister Shahid expressed hope that the Maldives and Bangladesh will continue working together on bilateral and international issues of common concern, and further strengthen the close ties of friendship and cooperation that exist between the two countries.