Maldives Foreign Minister Abdullah Shahid: Maldives is a Gathering Place, Friend to All Maldives Foreign Minister Abdullah Shahid emphasized that the Maldives is not a battleground but rather a place where people come together. He stated that the country is a friend to all and holds no enmity towards anyone.
When asked about the perception of the Maldives being a site of competition between India and China, Minister Shahid clarified that the Maldives welcomes positive relationships with all nations. He specifically highlighted the country’s strong relationship with India, despite the geographical proximity.
Minister Shahid praised India’s prompt response and support during emergencies, noting that India has been the first to respond whenever the Maldives has called for international assistance. He expressed confidence in India’s policies, such as the Sagar policy and neighborhood first policy, which have contributed to the flourishing bilateral relationship.
During his visit to India, Minister Shahid engaged in constructive discussions with Indian officials, reviewing ongoing development cooperation projects and exchanging views on international matters.
The two countries signed several memorandums of understanding, focusing on impactful development projects in areas such as sports, healthcare, education, and culture.
Minister Shahid expressed gratitude to India for its assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic, highlighting the Indian Air Force’s efforts in delivering essential medicines to the Maldives.
He also emphasized the importance of strengthening bilateral cooperation and increasing people-to-people engagement. Minister Shahid discussed climate change and emphasized the need for small island states, including the Maldives, to participate in climate change debates.
Foreign Minister Abdullah Shahid’s visit to India aimed to enhance cooperation and further strengthen the friendly relations between the Maldives and India.