State minister for foreign affairs Md Shahriar Alam, on Friday said Bangladesh has no military ambitions nor aspires to emerge as a regional power.

The state minister came up with the remark while replying to journalist’s queries before the inaugural ceremony of Indian Ocean Conference (IOC) at a hotel in Dhaka. Journalists questioned him over hosting the Indian Ocean Conference and the involvement in Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

In replying to these queries, Shahriar Alam said the philosophy of the prime minister Sheikh Hasina is to bring happiness for all. There is still 18 per cent of poverty. When the prime ministers or presidents of other countries of the region meet, a discussion is carried out on how to improve people’s lives. This is the regional purpose.

Saying the country is implenenting its foreign policy carefully, Shahriar Alam said, “We accept the good advice from the civil society. That is not a problem.”

Talking about IOC conference, he said, “The fastest growing economic regions in the world are the Indian Ocean countries or Asia. Discussions are going on and will be held over the stability of the region, economic cooperation, communication and how we can help one another during the unexpected natural disasters.”

State minister said representatives from 25 nations are joining the conference. However, Myanmar was not invited because the country’s government is not recognised by the rest of the world. But other big countries were invited.

When asked whether China was invited, he replied in the positive, adding their representatives are supposed to attend the conference.