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President Wavel Ramkalawan’s state visit to the Maldives |13 June 2023

President Wavel Ramkalawan’s state visit to the Maldives



and relations


  • Seychelles, Maldives sign four agreements to ease closer ties


President Wavel Ramkalawan was officially welcomed in the Maldives yesterday morning during an official welcoming ceremony at the Republic Square, marking the beginning of his state visit at the invitation of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.

Maldives’ President Solih and First Lady Fazna Ahmed received President Ramkalawan and First Lady Linda Ramkalawan at the Presidential Jetty in Malé before Maldivian students performed a welcoming ceremony.

After being escorted to the saluting dais, President Ramkalawan watched as the Maldivian National Defence Force fired a 21-gun salute in his honour before the Maldivian military brass band played the national anthems of the Maldives and Seychelles.

After the welcoming formalities, President Ramkalawan was escorted to the President's Office in a cultural procession and then signed the visitors' book.

The visit is a true reflection of the shared commitment of the two countries to take their relationship to new heights, as neighbours in the Indian Ocean, sharing similar historical, socio-economic, and cultural values and bonds.

Following bilateral talks between the two delegations focusing on strengthening relations and cooperation, President Ramkalawan and President Solih presided over the signing of four agreements. Foreign Affairs and Tourism Minister Sylvestre Radegonde signed on behalf of the Seychelles government.

They are:

a. Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Maldives and the Government of the Republic of Seychelles on short stay visa waiver.

b. Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Maldives and the Government of the Republic of Seychelles concerning air services.

c. Memorandum of understanding for youth development cooperation between the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment of the Government of the Republic of Maldives and the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Family of the Government of the Republic of Seychelles.

d. Protocol between the Government of the Republic of Maldives and the Government of the Republic of Seychelles on the cooperation to combat transnational organised crime and other maritime security and safety threats.

The two presidents then delivered joint statement in which they highlighted the similarities between the two countries, including culture, livelihoods, and ways of living. They expressed their commitment to strengthening bilateral relations, emphasising the importance of ocean resources to both countries' economies and the significance of Indian Ocean security for regional peace and stability

Climate change and its impacts were identified as the primary concern for both nations. President Solih emphasised the need for cooperation between the two countries to share experiences and address the developmental challenges of climate change. He further noted that various issues of mutual interest were discussed during the official talks, as were ways to strengthen relations between the two countries.

President Solih stated that four agreements were exchanged between the two countries to ease closer ties. These agreements aim to promote people-to-people exchanges and interactions. President Solih and President Ramkalawan also emphasised the importance of increased trade and experience sharing.

President Solih and President Ramkalawan agreed to collaborate in addressing security concerns in the Indian Ocean region, including emerging threats such as piracy, drug trafficking, terrorism, and illegal fishing.

President Solih noted that the Protocol on Cooperation to Combat Transnational Organised Crime and Other Maritime Security and Safety Threats signed yesterday was a significant step towards enhanced collaboration and joint efforts in ensuring regional security.

In conclusion, President Solih and President Ramkalawan reaffirmed their commitment to be close partners in addressing issues of mutual interest.

In the afternoon, President Ramkalawan, First Lady Linda Ramkalawan and the rest of the Seychelles delegation were treated to a state luncheon at the Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi.

President Ramkalawan also met the Maldives Vice-President Faisal Naseem at the President's Office.

Vice-President Naseem stated after the meeting that it was an honour to meet President Ramkalawan and expressed his pleasure at witnessing the strengthening of ties between the two countries during President Solih's administration.

President Ramkalawan and Vice-President Naseem described the state visit as a significant demonstration of the close relationship between the two countries. They also expressed their interest in working closely to discuss matters of mutual interest, particularly to strengthen existing cooperation at the bilateral and multilateral levels. In this regard, they noted collaboration in tourism, climate change, and youth development.

In conclusion, they uttered their desire to continue communicating to strengthen the bilateral relationship and find new ways to expand the existing collaboration.

Mohamed Nasheed, Speaker of the People’s Majlis and former President of the Maldives, and Abdulla Shahid, Minister for Foreign Affairs, also paid courtesy calls on President Ramkalawan.

Seychelles and the Maldives established diplomatic relations on July 1, 1980 and this is the first state visit of a head of state of Seychelles to the Maldives. As for President Solih he was in Seychelles on a state visit in August 2019.

President Ramkalawan and his delegation arrived in the Maldives late Sunday afternoon.

Lindy Ernesta, director general bilateral affairs division from the department of foreign affairs is also part of the delegation.

The accompanying photos show some highlights of President Ramkalawan’s arrival in the Maldives.


Compiled by Gerard Govinden


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