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EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs arrives on official visit

Ahmed Aiham
09 August 2019, MVT 10:48
European Union (EU) High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini during a press conference held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday. PHOTO: MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
Ahmed Aiham
09 August 2019, MVT 10:48

European Union (EU)'s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini arrived in Maldives, on Thursday.

The visit is conducted under the invitation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid and marks the highest level visit by the EU to date.

Minister of Foreign Affairs welcomes European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini. PHOTO: TWITTER

According to the Ministry, it stands testament to strengthened relations between the two partners.

In addition to calling on Minister of Defence Mariya Ahmed Didi and addressing the Parliament, High Representative Mogherini held official talks with Minister Shahid, reviewing existing bilateral cooperation programmes and discussed global matters of mutual interest.

European External Action Service (EEAS) tweets the parliamentary address by the EU High Representative. VIDEO: TWITTER

The minister noted the contributions made by the EU to further sustainable development in the country.

High Representative Mogherini indicated "positive" outcomes as she iterated the EU's readiness to continue supporting Maldives in its efforts to strengthen democracy and further socio-economic development.

In light of the efforts to tackle violent extremism and terrorism, the High Representative announced MVR 43 million in aid to strengthen response capabilities.

Both parties highlighted the importance of working closely on issues pertaining to climate change and environmental degradation.

Additionally, EU signed a Financing Agreement of MVR 85.8 million in June, to assist the implementation of the Nationally Determined Contributions.

The state also signed off on a MVR 771.6 million loan from the Europian Investment Bank (EIB)

High Representative reaffirmed the EU's commitment to ensure good governance in the justice sector.

The EU is considering to develop the Parliament through an EU Global Project to Strengthen the Capacity of Parliament and address Maldives' needs in cybersecurity through the EU Cyber Resilience for Development project.

Vice President Mogherini and Minister Shahid agreed to deepen their relations for the EU Strategy on Connecting Europe and Asia, which aims to better connect the continents through transport links, energy networks, digital networks and people-to-people connections.

In order to explore further avenues for enhancing trade and facilitating investments, the Minister reiterated the Government's request to consider duty free access for Maldivian fish products.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid meets with EU High Representative Federica Mogherini. PHOTO: TWITTER

The European Commissioner for Trade, Cecilia Malmstrรถm reaffirmed notions of a "Business Roundtable" to be organized in the coming months.

Further, Minister Shahid requested visa-free travel with the view of strengthening existing ties between the EU.

Highlighting the importance of intensifying ongoing cooperation, both parties confirmed the decision to further enhance bilateral relations through annual high-level meetings.

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