The Minister of Foreign Affairs, His Excellency Abdulla Shahid, participated in the Extraordinary Virtual Ministerial Pledging Conference for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), via videoconference today. The Conference, entitled “A strong UNRWA in a Challenging World – Mobilising Collective Action” was co-chaired by His Excellency Ayman Safadi, The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan; His Excellency Peter Eriksson, The Minister for International Development Cooperation of the Kingdom of Sweden.

In his remarks at the Extraordinary Virtual Ministerial Pledging Conference, Minister Shahid highlighted the extraordinary progress achieved by UNRWA since its establishment 70 years ago, noting that over 5.5 million Palestinian Refugees depend on UNRWA for basic healthcare and education. He also expressed concern about the funding crisis faced by UNRWA, which severely affects the welfare of Palestinian people. Yet, Minister Shahid claimed, UNRWA’s perseverance in the face of the multi-faceted challenges, including COVID-19, was a testament to its resilience.

Minister Shahid further called on the international community to provide financial support to UNRWA in order for the Agency to adequately promote and protect the human rights and dignity to which the people of Palestine are entitled to. He reiterated the Maldives’ long-standing position of a two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, in accordance with international law and respective UN resolutions.

The Extraordinary Virtual Ministerial Pledging Conference for UNRWA was held to mobilise political and financial support to UNRWA, meet resource requirements for 2020, and act collectively to secure its needs for 2021 and 2022. Several UN Member States generously pledged to assist UNRWA in the face of the current crisis.  

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Minister of Foreign Affairs, His Excellency Mr. Abdulla Shahid had an online video conference meeting with the UAE Foreign Minister His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, this evening.

During the meeting, following their recent telephone call on 10 April 2020, the two Ministers evaluated the latest updates with regard to COVID-19 pandemic. As both countries are in the process of easing restrictions and embracing the ‘new normal’, the Foreign Ministers discussed the road ahead, and possible collaborations for the future.

Applauding the UAE’s campaign focused on early detection and treatment through extensive testing, Minister Shahid noted that the Maldives is also looking towards scaling up the testing capacity of hospitals and clinics nationwide, while resuming economic activity. Minister Shahid further elaborated on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and its repercussions on the Maldives economy. Minister Shahid also reiterated his gratitude to the Government of the UAE, for the generous donation of 72 tonnes of crucial medical equipment and supplies worth AED 18,331,425.00 (≈ USD 5 million), to the Maldives earlier this month.

Both Foreign Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to continue working together on bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual importance, to further strengthen the brotherly ties between the two countries.

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The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Maldives, His Excellency Abdulla Shahid sends a message of felicitations to His Excellency Mr. Vincent Meriton, Vice-President and Minister for Foreign Affairs of
the Republic of Seychelles.

Minister’s message reads as follows:

“Let me convey my greetings and best wishes to Your Excellency, the Government, and the friendly people of Seychelles on the occasion of your Constitution Day.

It is my earnest hope that the amicable relationship between our two countries will continue to flourish in the years to come.

Please accept, Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration.”

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The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Maldives, Abdulla Shahid sends message of felicitations to Gudlaugur Thór Thórdarson, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iceland, on the occasion of the National Day of Iceland.

Minister’s message reads as follows:

“On behalf of the Government, the people of the Republic of Maldives and on my own behalf, it gives me great pleasure to extend warm greetings and good wishes to Your Excellency, the Government and the people of Iceland, on the joyous occasion of the National Day of Iceland.

It is my sincere hope that the friendly relations that exist between our two countries will be maintained and further strengthened in the future.

Please accept, Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration”

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Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Maldives, His Excellency Abdulla Shahid, had a telephone conversation with His Excellency Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Republic of Singapore, today.

Minister Shahid briefed his Singaporean counterpart on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Maldives and the measures implemented to curb the spread of the virus. Minister Shahid highlighted the impact on the economy of the Maldives noting that Maldives as a small island developing state is highly dependent on tourism and imports.

Foreign Minister Shahid expressed Maldivian Government’s gratitude for the generous donations from Singaporean individuals and companies who are investors in the tourism sector of the Maldives and also thanked the Government of Singapore for the assistance provided in the past.

Minister Shahid also noted the challenges posed to the  Maldivian health sector in coping  with the COVID-19 pandemic and requested for assistance from the Singaporean Government.

Both Foreign Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to continued cooperation and and collaboration in advancing interests on areas of mutual concern, both bilaterally and internationally.
 
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