European Union (EU)'s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, called on President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, on Thursday.
During the meeting at the President's Office, the High Representative acknowledged recent democratic strides made by Maldives, adding that the two partners can now renormalize and renew a working relationship.
She congratulated the President on his electoral victory and his party, Maldivian Democratic Party, for its successful bid at the parliamentary elections, which she noted to be free and fair.
Both parties discussed fields in which Maldives and the EU can constructively engage in, highlighting areas such as security cooperation, tourism and environmental preservation among other important sectors.
In addition, both agreed on the need for institutional strengthening to aid the country to consolidate its democracy. In this regard, the EU is willing to lend assistance to combat corruption, strengthen the judiciary and undertake other similar measures to enhance good governance.
During the call, the President thanked the EU for the MVR 771.6 million loan recently provided by the European Investment Bank (EIB), in addition to EUR 5 million grant agreement for diesel reduction, signed during the side-lines of the Maldives Partnership Forum.
As the Vice President for the European Commission, she mentioned positive outcomes in potentially reducing tariffs for tuna-based products that Maldives exports to EU countries.
In order to enhance people to people contact between European countries, the president discussed the possibility of visa-free travel throughout the EU.
In addition to calling on the President, Minister of Defence Mariya Ahmed Didi and addressing the Parliament, the High Representative Mogherini held official talks with Minister Shahid, reviewing existing bilateral cooperation programmes and discussed global matters of mutual interest.
Her visit marks the highest-ranking EU member to have visited the Maldives to date.