PUTRAJAYA, Nov 19 — Malaysia has called on all member states of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) to foster more robust cooperation for tangible outcomes.
Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah, in delivering Malaysia’s national statement at the 21st IORA Council of Ministers’ Meeting said this will enable the grouping to unleash the region’s potential in creating a shared destiny and path to prosperity.
The meeting was hosted virtually by Bangladesh on Nov 18. It was preceded by the 23rd Council of Senior Officials Meeting held from Nov 15 to 17.
A statement from the Foreign Ministry on Thursday said in the national statement, Saifuddin had also spoken about health diplomacy, cultural diplomacy, maritime security, and other post-COVID-19 cooperation.
On maritime safety and security, it added that Malaysia offered the expertise and technical knowledge of its Maritime Institute of Malaysia (MIMA).
Themed “Harnessing the Opportunities of Indian Ocean Sustainably for Inclusive Development”, the 21st IORA COM discussed issues of mutual concern to create a safe and prosperous Indian Ocean region while ensuring inclusive development through existing cooperation between IORA member states and Dialogue Partners, the statement said.
The 21st IORA Council of Ministers’ Meeting adopted the Dhaka Communiqué which highlighted, among others, IORA’s pivotal role in promoting inclusive development and emphasizing the importance of safeguarding maritime security in the Indian Ocean region amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Malaysia has been an active member of IORA since 1997.
IORA currently has 23 Member States that stretches from Asia to Africa and ten Dialogue Partners, which include, China, Egypt, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Russia, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States.