Bangladesh and Maldives are likely to sign a prisoner transfer agreement during the upcoming visit of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to Maldives.
The Cabinet yesterday approved the draft deal titled “Agreement between the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh and the Government of the Republic of Maldives on Transfer of Prisoners”.
The approval was given at the regular Cabinet meeting held with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair. She joined the meeting virtually from her official residence Ganabhaban, while other ministers and officials concerned were at the Bangladesh Secretariat.
“Since some Bangladeshis are now in Maldives prisons, the ministry brought the agreement (before the cabinet). We expect this deal will be signed during this tour (PM’s visit),” said Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam while briefing reporters at the secretariat after the meeting.
He said 43 Bangladeshi convicts are in the Maldives jails, while 40 other Bangladeshis are under trial there but no national of Maldives is in the jail of Bangladesh.
According to the agreement, prisoners can be transferred from both countries, said the Cabinet Secretary, adding that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will go on a visit to Maldives within the next few days.
The Cabinet also endorsed the draft of another agreement over health sector cooperation between Bangladesh and Maldives.
Anwarul Islam said different types of Bangladeshi health professionals went to Maldives under a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between the two countries, but now Maldives has asked to extend the deed till 2024 and sign a full-fledged agreement instead of MoU.
“Maldives will take qualified health professionals —clinical specialists, public health specialists, dental surgeons and nurses and other auxiliary staff— from Bangladesh. So, they want to ink an agreement,” he said.
The Cabinet hoped that this agreement would also be signed during the Prime Minister’s visit.