President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and First Lady Fazna Ahmed returned on Monday following the conclusion of the state visit to Seychelles.
The visit was undertaken upon invitation from President of Seychelles Danny Faure. This marks the first-ever diplomatic visit by a Maldivian leader to the archipelagic republic and fellow Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) member.
The Presidential trip served to progress bilateral friendship between the two countries. During official talks, both leaders expounded on the many shared challenges and many areas where cooperation can be expanded, with climate change and maritime issues being accorded special priority.
Accordingly, during the visit the two governments signed seven Memoranda of Understanding to further collaborate in sectors such as Fisheries, Tourism, Blue Economy, Foreign Ministry Cooperation, Sports Cooperation and Vocational and Youth Training.
Present day comes at a particularly opportune time for Maldives in light of the Indian Ocean Island Games (IOIG) governing council’s decision to allow the country to host the next edition of the event in 2023.
Seychelles and Maldives already have a robust history of sporting cooperation - exemplified in recent years by Seychelles gifting a sailing boat to participate in sailing events - and building on these foundations would serve to promote local athletes as they prepare in upcoming years to participate in the 11th IOIG event.
President Faure further announced that Seychellois government will offer four scholarships for Maldivian students to study maritime fields at Seychelles’ University from this year onwards. Further details will be disclosed at a later time.
President Solih expressed contentment and relayed his thanks for the hospitality accorded to the First Lady, his Delegation and himself throughout the course of this visit. He commented that he would be jubilant at the prospect of reciprocating Seychellois hospitality in the future.