President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, on Tuesday, stressed on the need for countries across the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) to come together to confront the threats of terrorism and violent extremism.
The President made the statement while delivering his opening remarks at the 4th Indian Ocean Conference (IOC) at Paradise Island Resort, noting the major challenges faced by countries in the region.
In addition, President Solih highlighted issues such as fighting climate change, proper implementation of maritime law outlined in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and combating illicit trafficking of narcotics and humans.
The President stated that, in recent times, the Indian Ocean Region has come to the forefront of global politics due to the high frequency of commercial, cultural and political activity taking place in the area.
Noting that Maldives was located at the heart of this region, President Solih asserted that the need to find common ground in order to meet the mutual challenges faced by the countries across the region was understood.
He emphasised that IOR countries must enhance intra-regional cooperation through participation and strengthening of formal intergovernmental bodies devoted to battling these challenges, highlighting the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) in particular.
With regard to the ongoing conference, President Solih expressed his optimism that it will prove to be fruitful, especially in light of the representatives taking part in it.
On Tuesday night, President Solih also hosted a dinner at the resort for the dignitaries attending IOC.
The IOC invites senior dignitaries from across the Indian Ocean to discuss the traditional and non-traditional security issues confronting our region. It will conclude on September 4, and was chaired by Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.