“The invitation to take part in the IORA meeting for Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov has been received and the work is on as regards the possibility of this visit,” an official at the Russian Embassy in Dhaka told the news agency.

Russia is a dialogue partner of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA).

Bangladesh, the current chair of IORA, expects over a dozen ministers including the Russian Foreign Minister at the meeting, a senior official told UNB.

The Russian foreign minister is likely to meet prime minister Sheikh Hasina apart from his bilateral meeting with foreign minister Abdul Momen.

Momen met his Russian counterpart last month in Astana, Kazakhstan on the sidelines of the CICA (Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia) Summit and apprised him of the current situation of the Rohingya.

He stressed the need for stronger international support for resolving the Rohingya crisis.

In August, Sergey Lavrov met with his counterpart Wunna Maung Lwin and other top Myanmar officials in Naypyitaw.

The IORA Council of Ministers meeting, to be hosted by Bangladesh, will be preceded by the 24th meeting of the Committee of Senior Officials (CSO) to be held on 22-23 November.

The Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) is an inter-governmental organisation aimed at strengthening regional cooperation and sustainable development within the Indian Ocean region through its 23 Member States and 10 dialogue partners.

IORA member states are -- Australia, Bangladesh, Union of Comoros, French Republic, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Republic of Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Mozambique, Oman, Seychelles, Singapore, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

The 23 member states of IORA and 10 dialogue partners are expected to join the ministerial and senior official meetings.

Bangladesh assumed the position of the IORA Chai at the 21st IORA COM meeting in Dhaka held on 17 November 2021 and adopted the theme of “Harnessing the opportunities of the Indian Ocean sustainably for inclusive development”.