President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, on Friday, conducted bilateral discussions with the President of Seychelles Danny Faure.
The two leaders highlighted common commitments to the peace and security of the Indian Ocean Region, the need to increase cooperation concerning climate change advocacy, developing the blue economy and combatting illicit activity such as maritime piracy, terrorism, drug trades and human trafficking.
Also noted was the similarity of challenges faced by Maldives and Seychelles as island nations in the Indian Ocean and as fellow members of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS).
Both leaders expressed satisfaction that the first state visit by a Maldivian leader to Seychelles had proved so beneficial, with the governments of Maldives and Seychelles formalizing future plans for cooperation with the signing of several Memoranda of Understanding (MoU).
These memoranda cover a range of fields including general cooperation, blue economy, foreign ministry cooperation and also sports cooperation.
President Solih shared his satisfaction that athletes from both countries were able to participate in the 2019 Indian Ocean Island Games (IOIG), which recently took place in Mauritius. Following a majority vote, the IOIG governing council declared Maldives as the host nation for the next instalment of the games which is scheduled for 2023.
Thanking Seychelles for its endorsement of Maldives' IOIG bid, President Solih stated that he looked forward to Seychelles’ participation in the next games.
He also expressed gratitude regarding the sporting cooperation MoU signed by both governments. The MoU will help Maldives build greater sporting capacity to prepare for the 2023 IOIG which will introduce competitive water sports such as windsurfing and sailing for the first time ever.
Furthermore, President Solih welcomed the Seychellois government's decision to provide four annual scholarships for Maldivian students to study maritime subjects at the University of Seychelles.
The president also commented on the warmth and hospitality accorded to him, First Lady Fazna Ahmed and the Maldivian delegation over the course of their stay.
Seychelles President Faure reciprocated President Solih’s sentiments, noting his happiness over Maldives and Seychelles being en route to stronger bilateral ties and greater mutual cooperation.