President flies to Indonesia, Singapore Monday

President Mohammed Shahabuddin
File photo

President Mohammed Shahabuddin will leave for Jakarta, Indonesia on Monday morning to join the 43rd 'ASEAN Summit' and 18th 'East Asia Summit' to be held on 5-7 September.

From Indonesia's capital Jakarta, the Head of State will go to Singapore for a health check up on 8 September.

"A regular aircraft of Biman Bangladesh Airlines, carrying the President along with his spouse professor Rebecca Sultana and other entourage members, is scheduled to depart from Hazrat Shahjalal (R.) International Airport (HSIA) for Jakarta at 8:30 am tomorrow," President's press secretary Md Joynal Abedin told BSS on Sunday.

Chairperson of Bangladesh National Advisory Committee on Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Saima Wazed and Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen will also accompany the president during the visit.

At the invitation of the president of the Indonesia and ASEAN chair for 2023, Joko Widodo, the Bangabhaban spokesman said, the president will attend the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Summit and the East Asia Summit at the Jakarta Convention Center (JCC).

With the theme of "Asean Matters: Epicentrum of Growth", the ASEAN Summit will be held with a hectic agenda for three days.

Mohammed Shahabuddin will be staying at the Presidential Suite at Hotel Le Meridien in Jakarta.

He, on the sidelines of the ASEAN summit, will also attend the 'East Asia Summit' slated for 7 September.

The president will deliver the concluding speech on "Strengthening Regional Architecture to Support the Epicentrum of Growth from the Perspective of IORA" as the "Guest of Chair" there.

He will also have separate bilateral meetings with his Indonesian counterpart Joko Widodo and state leaders of Thailand, Malaysia and Timor-Leste.

On 6 September, the president will attend a 'Gala Dinner' to be hosted by the Indonesian president at Hutan Kota Gelora Bung Karno.

Joko Widodo will chair 12 meetings during the 43rd ASEAN Summit. The ASEAN is an intergovernmental organisation of 11 Southeast Asian countries - Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and Timor Leste or East Timor.

The ASEAN Summit is a biannual meeting held by its members. It serves as a prominent regional (Asia) and international (worldwide) conference, with world leaders attending its related summits and meetings to discuss various problems and global issues, strengthening cooperation, and making decisions.

The Indonesian president will also chair the 18th East Asia Summit (EAS), which consists of 18 members, including the 10 ASEAN countries, the United States, the Russian Federation, New Zealand, Australia, China, Japan, South Korea, and India, according to the ASEAN secretariat.

The leaders of the Pacific Island Forum, the prime minister of Canada, the executive director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the World Bank (World Bank) are also reportedly planning to attend the ASEAN Summit.

The ASEAN Summit will discuss the development and strengthening of ASEAN cooperation with external partners as it will also discuss several important themes such as the Code of Conduct regarding the South China Sea, the South East Asia Nuclear Weapon Free Zone (SEANWFZ), the ASEAN Maritime Outlook, the ASEAN Outlook in Indo Pacific (AOIP), and issues related to Myanmar.

It is expected that the ASEAN Summit will also produce several important agreements, such as agreements related to ASEAN infrastructure strengthening, food security, blue economy, and green economy, as well as the digital economy and payment ecosystem.

Earlier, foreign minister AK Abdul Momen told news agency BSS that apart from discussions on bilateral cooperation on different sectors, two Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) on energy and health collaboration between Bangladesh and Indonesia are likely to be signed during the visit of President Mohammed Shahabuddin.

Winding up the ASEAN Summit and the East Asia Summit, President Shahabuddin along with his spouse will leave Jakarta for Singapore for a health check up.

The president is expected to return home from Singapore on 16 September, according to the revised schedule.