DHAKA, Jan. 11, 2016 (Xinhua) -- Photo taken on Jan. 11, 2016 shows a scene of the fifth biennial assembly of Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The fifth biennial assembly of IONS kicked off here on Monday. (Xinhua/Shariful Islam)
DHAKA, Jan. 11 (Xinhua)-- The fifth biennial assembly of Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) kicked off in Bangladeshi capital Dhaka on Monday.
Bangladeshi President Abdul Hamid opened the assembly of IONS, which was established in 2008 as a voluntary initiative that seeks to increase maritime cooperation among navies of littoral states of the Indian Ocean region.
"On this auspicious occasion, let me congratulate the chief of Royal Australian Navy for his successful and accomplished tenure as chairman of the symposium for the last two years. At the same time I wish good luck and every success for the newly elected chairman, the chief of Naval Staff of Bangladesh Navy for his solemn responsibility," Hamid said in his speech.
He said it is particularly significant for Bangladesh to chair the IONS.
Hamid said Indian Ocean carries huge prospect and potentials both from ego-strategic and ego-economic point of view to facilitate maritime trade and commerce, economic prosperity and exploration and exploitation of the ocean resource.
Proper management of this vast region and its effective utilization is not possible by single nation alone, he said.
"In this regards, we shall have to work together as a single entity so that every potential could be utilized for the greater benefit of the mankind."
"We must make proper use of this common platform to build the bridges among the ION littorals. I am certain that IONS will play a pivotal rote to develop cooperation among the friendly navies of the region."
IONS is not only a ray of hope for the Indian Ocean Region but also a forum of immense importance for the Asia Pacific and adjoining oceans, he added.
Representatives from 36 navies are attending the symposium which will run through Jan. 13.
Chief of Naval Staff of Bangladesh Navy, Vice Admiral M Farid Habib, has expressed his gratitude as outgoing IONS Chairman Vice Admiral Tim Barraett, chief of Navy Royal Australian Navy, handed over the IONS Telescope to him. M Farid Habib has been elected chairman of the IONS for 2016-2018 term.
Habib said the events will include a two-day seminar on Jan. 11 and 12 in 2016.
The third day, Jan. 13, is set aside for the conclave of chiefs for IONS member and observer nation, he said. Besides, bilateral discussions between participating nations will be facilitated, he added.
"Given the growing strategic and economic importance of Indian Ocean Region (IOR) visa-a-vis the quantum of challenges encountered here meaningful partnership among the littorals is vital."
Farid expressed the hope that IONS 2016 will explore the broad theme of "Fostering Partnership in IOR: Charting Course for Maritime Cooperative Engagement" which is intended to delve into the ambits of the common challenges face by the IOR littorals, leading to the cooperation mechanisms capitalizing the IONS forum.