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US Ambassador Teplitz conducts official visit

Mariyam Malsa
05 January 2021, MVT 17:09
Ambassador of the United States of America to the Maldives, Alaina Teplitz meeting with Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid on the sidelines of the Fourth Indian Ocean Conference in 2019. PHOTO: FOREIGN MINISTRY
Mariyam Malsa
05 January 2021, MVT 17:09

United States Ambassador to Maldives Alaina Teplitz, on Sunday, arrived in Maldives for an official visit.

According to information received from the US Mission to Maldives, the ambassador is scheduled to conduct meetings with several key officials to deliberate on topics of mutual interest such as regional security, the G-20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI), human rights, economic growth, and the COVID-19 response.

Ambassador Teplitz has expressed readiness to increase bilateral cooperation in aforementioned areas, including through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The ambassador's trip highlights the US commitment to maintaining and strengthening the bilateral partnership between the two countries.

On Wednesday, the governments of Maldives and the United States, signed an agreement on the DSSI), to temporarily suspend debt-service payments owed to bilateral creditors.

The agreement, which extends to a figure of USD 100,000, is expected to directly contribute to Maldives’ ongoing economic recovery efforts, and improve debt transparency and debt management amidst the present economic challenges.

Furthermore, the US has extended assistance to the Maldivian COVID-19 response efforts on various occasions, including donations of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), a grant of USD 750,000 for support education and communities amid the pandemic, as well as USD 2 million as economic support.

The most recent donation consisted of Intensive Care Unit (ICU) equipment worth USD 165,000 which was handed over to the Ministry of Health and the Maldivian National Defence Force (MNDF).