Statement by the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, at the Joint Press Conference with the Secretary General of Muslim World League

Your Excellency, Sheikh Dr. Mohammad bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa, Secretary General of the Muslim World League and members of the media.

Assalamu alaikum and good afternoon. Secretary General Al Issa is visiting the Maldives on the invitation of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. Yesterday, the Secretary General called on President Solih. Following the meeting President Solih conferred the Order of the Dignified Rule of Kalaafaan on the Secretary General. Let me take this opportunity to extend my warmest congratulations to the Secretary General on receiving this honour. It is a recognition of the valuable contributions the Secretary General has made in the promotion of moderate Islam and reflects the esteem in which the Secretary General is held by the Maldivian people.

The Secretary General also met with H.E. Ahmed Zahir, Minister of Islamic Affairs and H.E. Uza. Mariya Ahmed Didi, Minister of Defence and held fruitful discussions over the past two days.

Mr. Secretary General, it is indeed an honour and a great privilege to welcome Your Excellency and your delegation to the Maldives. Your visit is a timely opportunity for us to further deepen cooperation in our shared priorities that are anchored in the very essence of Islam, which is peace, tolerance and coexistence. We recognize and appreciate the League’s role in cultivating the wisdom of moderate Islam all across the globe. I am confident that under your guidance and leadership the Muslim World League will continue to pursue effective ways to address the issues facing the Islamic Ummah.

Your visit also symbolizes the long-standing relations we have with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Today, Maldives-Saudi relations have grown stronger than ever. Saudi Arabia remains one of our closest development partners. We will continue to work together in strengthening our close partnership by enhancing cooperation on a broad range of areas. Your visit further reflects the success of this Government’s foreign policy to build and strengthen relations with the international community.

We have just held discussions on a wide range of topics, including enhancing cooperation in counter terrorism, counter radicalization and issues related to Islamophobia, empowerment of women and the role of the Muslim World League in addressing these issues. Today’s discussions here in the Ministry, presented us with the opportunity to further strengthen our cooperation and carry forward our efforts to promote the tolerant values of Islam in its true, moderate form.

We also discussed cooperation in the field of capacity building and further training of our religious scholars and imams, and most importantly youth, with the support of the Muslim World League. Our discussions also focused on the importance of expediting the opening of the King Salman Mosque. We also discussed the importance of empowering women and ensuring equal participation of women in public life and the elimination of all forms of violence against women.

Furthermore, we exchanged views on the various challenges facing the Islamic Ummah today, including the issues of Palestine and Rohingya Muslims – two issues which are very close to our hearts.

We also discussed the possibility of opening a representative office of the Muslim World League in the Maldives.

The Secretary General will be holding a public lecture tomorrow. Details of this lecture will be shared with the media shortly. This will be a good opportunity for the public to listen to such an eminent scholar and seek guidance on issues that need clarity.

I look forward to working closely with the Muslim World League and assure Your Excellency, that we will remain committed to supporting your organization in fulfilling its mission in accordance with the Makkah Charter.

Thank you.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Fathulla Jameel Building, Malé, 20077, Republic of Maldives, | Tel Number: 00960 332-3400  |  Emergency Contact: 00960 798-3400