Minister of Foreign Affairs, His Excellency Dr. Mohamed Asim, held bilateral talks with his Japanese counterpart His Excellency Mr. Taro Kono, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, today.

During the meeting held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs this morning, Minister Asim and Minister Kono reviewed the program of cooperation between the two countries and agreed to work together to further strengthen and enhance the cordial relations between the two countries. In this regard, the two Ministers decided to convene an annual “Policy Dialogue” between the two countries aimed at transforming the relationship to a more mutually beneficial strategic partnership. The Policy Dialogue will cover political, economic and technical cooperation as well as regional and international issues of mutual interest.

Japan is one of the biggest bilateral development partners of the Maldives. Minister Asim used the occasion of the talks to thank the Government and the people of Japan for the invaluable support and cooperation extended towards the socio-economic development of the Maldives. Minister Asim praised the efficiency and effectiveness of the Japanese Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) programme to the Maldives and said that every Yen that the Japanese people donated to the Maldives has reached its intended targets with the intended results. Minister Asim also underscored the usefulness and importance of such targeted and result-oriented ODA programmes for the socio-economic development of small developing countries like the Maldives.

In addition, both Ministers also discussed regional and global issues of mutual interest, including climate change, terrorism and the situation in the Korean Peninsula.

Minister Kono is visiting the Maldives as the two countries are celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.

This is the first official visit undertaken by a Japanese Foreign Minister to the Maldives.