The Maldives and Sri Lanka have agreed to redouble efforts to protect people from the threat of terrorism.
Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe delivered a Joint Press Statement at the President’s Office, as part of the Prime Minister’s ongoing Official Visit to the Maldives.
In their statements, both leaders highlighted the enduring friendship that defines the relationship between Sri Lanka and the Maldives This, in turn, both leaders noted, has contributed to the excellent cooperation that exists between the two countries.
President Solih’s remarks reiterated that the Maldives and Sri Lanka enjoy a traditionally close and significant relationship, with values, history and culture intertwined. He added that interactions between the two countries go beyond even recorded history. Further, he expressed gratitude for Sri Lanka’s numerous assistance to the Maldives over the years. He highlighted Sri Lanka’s expert aid in capacity building and human resource development, especially in areas of health, education, defence, youth development and sports, which has proven a boon to the Maldives’ socio-economic development.
Both President Solih and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe expressed their satisfaction at the substance and pace of cooperation on the international fora, bilaterally and multilaterally, since the President’s visit to Sri Lanka in February.
The President noted that significant progress is being achieved, and discussed ways to continue to expand and develop the bilateral relationships between the two countries and to cooperate even closer on consulate matters.
President Solih noted that the MoUs exchanged today are precisely to contribute to this objective, and that the visa facilitation agreement will ease the issue of parental, guardian and student visa for Maldivians studying in Sri Lanka and help enrich our cultures and economies collectively.
President Solih continued to note important contributions by the Sri Lankan Government in aiding the Maldives, citing the Health Sector in particular. He expressed his appreciation for the kind hospitality and excellent services provided to Maldivians seeking healthcare in Sri Lanka. In particular, the President noted the decision of the Sri Lankan government to allow Maldivians to seek organ transplant services in Sri Lanka.
The two leaders reviewed ongoing cooperation in important sectors as health, education, regional governance and the peace and security of the Indian Ocean.
President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih also remarked on the importance of the agreements exchanged today. President Solih stated ‘Investing in skills development and the youth is a high priority for my government. Today, we signed important MOUs that will contribute to higher education, youth development and enhancing the capacity and quality of human resources.’
International issues of concern were also discussed. Both countries agreed to redouble the efforts to protect people from the threat of terrorism, with President Solih expressing his deepest sympathies for the people and Government of Sri Lanka for the devastating terrorist attack.
The President and Prime Minister also reiterated that climate change is an urgent threat that needs immediate attention in both mitigation and adaption, and agreed on the need to work with all countries to combat terrorism and counter violent extremism within the region and beyond.
Both leaders expressed their readiness to progress the constructive engagement in all spheres.