Maldives on Friday , won the bid to host Indian Ocean Island Games 2023.
After 10 years of participating in the games, this is the first time Maldives will have the chance to host the event.
President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih confirmed the decision on Twitter, expressing his pride that Maldives will have the opportunity to return the hospitality extended by fellow island nations during previous competitions.
Earlier this year, the Olympic Committee proposed the idea to the government, winning immediate support for it.
In a culmination of events, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih sent letters seeking support from various island nations in the Indian Ocean. He also sent Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid as his Special Envoy to campaign and win the votes in favor of us.
Minister Shahid kicked off his efforts by meeting with the President of Seychelles, where he was assured complete support. Following that, he met with the Acting Foreign Minister of Madagascar, who also happened to be putting forward a bid to host IOIG2023.
Addressing the press after a meeting with the Prime Minister of Mauritius, Shahid declared that it was time, "Maldives returns the hospitality".
Shahid next met with the President of Comoros. The country also harboured plans to put forward a bid for IOIG23.
Finally, Minister Shahid wrote a letter to the French President seeking support from Reunion, as the nation is still a part of the French Republic, and France also assured support for Maldives.
In addition to a self-vote, Maldives earned 3 votes in favour from Seychelles, Mauritius, Reunion, during the decision process.
Minister Shahid also tweeted after the voting drew to a close, calling the athletes "heroes" and offering his welcome to fellow islanders, set to arrive at Maldivian shores in 2023.
It is a pledge of the current government to host international sports events in the country.