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Opposition welcomes US Secretary of State's visit to Maldives

Mariyam Malsa
29 October 2020, MVT 18:45
US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo speaking at the joint press conference held at Sheraton Maldives. PHOTO: MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
Mariyam Malsa
29 October 2020, MVT 18:45

The opposition alliance, consisting of the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and the People's National Congress (PNC), on Wednesday, welcomed US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo's official visit to Maldives on October 28.

Highlighting United States' long history as a developmental partner to Maldives, the opposition coalition expressed optimism that the official visit by the US Secretary of State further consolidated bilateral ties between the two countries.

The joint statement expressed hope that deliberations with Secretary Pompeo would strengthen Maldives response to COVID-19 as well as efforts to recover from the economic repercussions of the pandemic.

Highlighting that former president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom remained in prison, the opposition coalition also expressed hope that bilateral discussions touched on the necessity of maintaining the fundamental principles in Maldives.

Yameen is currently serving a five-year jail sentence on money laundering charges over the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation's (MMPRC) scandal, the largest corruption case recorded in Maldives' history.

Furthermore, PPM and PNC emphasized the need for US assistance in boosting national efforts against corruption and increasing transparency in governance.

As per the statement, both parties remained prepared to engage in discussions and efforts to improve policymaking and reform governance policies.

Maldives was Secretary Pompeo's third stop in his string of visits to major countries of the Indo-Pacific region. He initially travelled to India, Sri Lanka and visited Indonesia after departing from Maldives.

Throughout the course of the visit, Secretary Pompeo paid a courtesy call on President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and conducted bilateral discussion with Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid.

Notably, the US Secretary of State announced the historic decision to establish the first American embassy in Maldives during a a joint press conference with Minister Shahid.

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.

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