Takagi Kei said, Japan has decided to provide Bangladesh and other like-minded countries in the Indian Ocean region with support under OSA (Official Security Assistance) to strengthen the security of the region. This is a new initiative. “While strengthening our economic activities, the region must be secure and stable,” he said.
Speaking at the same session, Australia’s Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs Tim Watts said Australia was strengthening its diplomatic ties with countries in the Indian Ocean region. He said that Australia wants to establish a rules-based, free and open Indian Ocean Region, which is very important for geo-strategic and economic sectors. He placed importance on building a peaceful and planned region by establishing a comprehensive and effective regional framework.
Also speaking at the session were Saeed Mubarak Al-Hajeri, UAE Assistant Minister for Economic and Commercial Trade Affairs, Seyed Rasool Mousavi, Advisor to Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Du Hung Viet, Deputy Foreign Minister of Vietnam.
Earlier, the second session was moderated by MJ Akbar, a member of the Board of Directors of India Foundation.
In her virtual presentation at the session, US Secretary of State Wendy Sherman said, “Through our work with the US Congress on the Regional Maritime Initiative, we are providing a USD 6 million fund for partnerships with Bangladesh, India, the Maldives and Sri Lanka.” These funds will boost law enforcement capacity in the South Asian sub-region of the Indian Ocean.” They said the partnership is important for maritime security and they want to see India’s leadership at the forefront, especially in combating piracy, inspection of exclusive economic zones and disaster management.