His Excellency Abdulla Shahid, Minister of Foreign Affairs, sent a message of felicitations to His Excellency Ayman Al Safadi, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Expatriates of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

Minister’s message reads as follows:

“It is my pleasure to extend greetings and good wishes to Your Excellency, the Government, and the people of Jordan on the jubilant occasion of the Army Day of Jordan.

I sincerely hope that the brotherly relations between our two countries will strengthen and flourish in the years ahead.

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

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The Minister of Foreign Affairs, His Excellency Abdulla Shahid, participated in the Open-Ended Virtual Extraordinary Meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Executive Committee at the Level of Foreign Ministers today. The meeting, chaired by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, brought together Foreign Ministers of the OIC to discuss the Israeli Government’s proposal to annex large parts of the occupied West Bank in the State of Palestine.

In his remarks delivered at the meeting, Minister Shahid stated that the proposed Israeli annexation of the West Bank is the latest in a series of steps taken by Israel that would destabilize regional peace and security. He conveyed the Maldives’ firm condemnation and rejection of the Israeli Government’s plans to annex large parts of the occupied West Bank. He further said that the move compounds the suffering and existing vulnerabilities of the Palestinian people as the whole world is preoccupied with its response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Minister Shahid stated that the annexation goes against a rules-based international order and undermines respect for international law. In this regard, he called on the international community to do more to ensure that international law is upheld and the relevant United Nations resolutions are implemented to end the illegal occupation of Palestinian lands, and prevent further unlawful settlements.

Furthermore, Minister Shahid reiterated the Maldives’ long-standing position of restoring the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination by ensuring an independent and sovereign State of Palestine, based on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital. He described the unilateral and unlawful plans to annex Occupied Palestinian Territory as diminishing any hopes of a two-state solution, which can only be achieved from negotiations in good faith. In conclusion of his remarks, Minister Shahid called for unity amongst the Islamic Ummah in standing side-by-side with the people of Palestine in their struggle for justice, peace and freedom.  

The meeting concluded with the adoption of a resolution by the Executive Committee of the OIC condemning the threats of the Israeli Government to annex parts of the State of Palestine’s territory occupied in 1967.

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation, comprising of 57 Member States, has constantly advocated for the rights of Palestinian people and a two-state solution. The Maldives has been an active member of the OIC since becoming a member in 1976.

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The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Maldives, Abdulla Shahid sends message of felicitations to Augusto Ernesto dos Santos Silva, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Portuguese Republic, on the occasion of Portugal Day.

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 felicitations to Your Excellency, the Government and the people of Portugal, on the occasion of Portugal Day.

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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The Minister of Foreign Affairs, His Excellency Abdulla Shahid today took part in a virtual event co-hosted by the Maldives, Antigua & Barbuda and Norway to launch the “Group of Friends to Combat Marine Plastic Pollution”. The event which was hosted in New York in the presence of founding members of the Group of Friends, was held on the occasion of the World Ocean Day to signify the importance and the urgency of addressing the challenges faced by countries in combating marine plastic pollution.  

In his remarks at the launching event today, Minister Shahid emphasized that that oceans were the lifeblood of countries such as the Maldives, and other Small Island Developing States (SIDS). He mentioned that millions of people living on coastal areas around the world depended on the ocean for sustenance and economic growth, while raising concerns that the health of the oceans were rapidly declining due to alarming level of increase in marine plastic pollution.

Further, Minister Shahid recognized that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as a wake-up call for humanity to build back better, in a more sustainably manner, and urged countries to increase initiatives that would highlight the need to address this urgent issue. He called for a global response that would lead to an effective international framework to fight marine plastic pollution in the near future. In reminding the international community about the commitments of the Maldives, Minister Shahid reiterated the decision by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih to phase out single-use plastics by 2023, and to fully protect 20% of Maldivian oceans in the coming years.

The Group of Friends to Combat Marine Plastic Pollution has been established under the co-chairmanship of Maldives, Norway and Antigua and Barbuda to formulate a response at the global level to raise awareness and to advocate for action to combat marine plastic pollution. Presently, 46 Member States of the UN has joined the Group of Friends. In addition to Minister Shahid, the Prime Minister of Norway, Her Excellency Erna Solberg, and the Minister for Social Transformation and the Blue Economy of Antigua and Barbuda, His Excellency Dean Jonas also addressed the event today.

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The Government of the United Arab Emirates has donated 72 tonnes of crucial medical equipment and supplies worth AED 18,331,425.00 (≈ USD 5 million) to support the Government’s efforts in responding to COVID-19. The donation was delivered on a special cargo flight which arrived in Male’ today.

This donation includes Real Time PCR Systems, PCR Extraction Machine, COVID-19 diagnostic extraction kits and PCR kits for 30,000 tests. Personal protective equipment which includes disposable coveralls, shoe covers, face shields, masks, gloves and hand sanitizers were also supplied in the donation.

The Government of Maldives has expressed its immense gratitude to the Leadership, the Government and the brotherly people of the United Arab Emirates for this gesture of goodwill and generosity in this critical period. This donation will undoubtedly aid to increase the testing capacity and contribute to overcome the humanitarian and the economic challenges faced due the community outbreak of COVID-19, specifically, as Maldives aspires to ease the restrictions and turn towards the steps of normalcy.

The Government of Maldives also appreciated the consistent priority given by the United Arab Emirates towards the needs of the people of Maldives. The United Arab Emirates has been an important development partner of the Maldives since late 1970s, supporting the country on key infrastructure projects. Most recently, on 9 March 2020, the Memorandum of Understanding was signed to provide MVR 771 million (USD 50 million) to the Maldives as grant aid for the year 2020.

This timely and important donation to the people of Maldives reflects the close friendship and the significant historic ties of more than four decades that exist between the two brotherly nations.

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