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US Secretary of State arrives in Maldives

Mariyam Malsa
28 October 2020, MVT 14:10
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo being welcomed to Maldives at Velana International Airport (VIA) by Foreign Minister Shahid. PHOTO: FOREIGN MINISTRY
Mariyam Malsa
28 October 2020, MVT 14:10

US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo, on Wednesday, arrived in Maldives on an official visit.

He was received at Velana International Airport by Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid.

Maldives is Secretary Pompeo's third stop in his string of visits to major countries of the Indo-Pacific region. So far, he has travelled to India, Sri Lanka and is scheduled to visit Indonesia after departing from Maldives.

Throughout the course of the visit, Secretary Pompeo is scheduled to pay a courtesy call on the President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and conduct bilateral discussion with Minister Shahid.

Deliberations are expected to revolve around security concerns in the Indian Ocean region, the global battle against the COVID-19 pandemic and endeavors to further boost bilateral ties between the two countries.

Secretary Pompeo's visit is the highest-level visit by a US Government official to the Maldives, since the visit of US Secretary of State, James Addison Baker III on 24 July 1992.

In September, Maldives' Ministry of Defence and the United States of America's Department of Defence signed a framework agreement in order to address growing security concerns in the Indo-Pacific and the Indian Ocean region, including the threat of piracy, violent extremism, terrorism and illicit trafficking.

Furthermore, the US has also extended considerable assistance to support Maldives' COVID-19 response efforts. Most recently a donation of 60 portable critical care ventilators was facilitated by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Till date, the US has contributed over USD 4 million, including a grant aid of USD 2 million as economic support, multiple donations of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), PCR machines and other related medical equipment, along with donations through multilateral agencies such as the IAEA and UNICEF.

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