President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, declared on Sunday, that two key aspects of fostering bilateral relations is to ensure Maldives' continued independence and strengthen the welfare of its citizens.
Speaking during the televised address held to mark National Day, President Solih recounted the state of Maldives prior to his successful bid for presidency, noting Maldives as having sidelined from the international arena, effectively stripping itself from "innumerable opportunities to aid, privileges and resources due to an isolationist foreign policy".
Underscoring the plethora of benefits gained by Maldivians through his administration's revised foreign policy, he affirmed that the financial and technical assistance granted as foreign aid during the COVID-19 pandemic stand testament to strengthened international relations.
Detailing the actions of Muhammad Thakurufaanu Al Auzam to liberate Maldivians from the Portuguese occupation in 1573, President Solih urged members of the public to pay their respects to all those who have sacrificed their lives for the freedom and independence of the nation.
Continuing his address, he stressed the protection of Maldives' fundamental pillars - the shared faith, language and culture, as an obligation of every citizen, adding that each individual was charged with a mission to to foster younger generations with familiarity and respect for these values.
National Day is marked on the first of Rabi' ul-Awwal every year, to commemorate the victory of Muhammad Thakurufaanu Al Auzam, ending the 15 year-long occupation of the Maldives in 1573, which was led by a Portuguese faction.