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Commonwealth Assessment team arrives, meets Foreign Secretary

30 January 2019, MVT 08:33
Commonwealth Asia-Pacific Advisor Albert Marina (L) and Foreign Secretary Abdul Ghafoor Mohamed. PHOTO: MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
30 January 2019, MVT 08:33

A Commonwealth mission arrived on Tuesday to assess and evaluate Maldives’ re-application into the organization.

During the meeting held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Secretary Abdul Ghafoor Mohamed welcomed the team to the country and expressed the government's desire to re-join the Commonwealth as a member state.

Foreign Secretary mentioned that Maldives has benefitted immensely in the past from being a member of the 53-member state organisation and was able to contribute as a member of the Commonwealth in important global discussions on human rights, sustainable development, climate change, and democratic consolidation.

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih officially requested to rejoin the Commonwealth in December 2018.

Since then, Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid had met with the Commonwealth Secretary-General in London on January 27.

During their visit, the Commonwealth Secretariat Staff Team is due to pay courtesy calls on President Solih, the Speaker of Parliament and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. They will also meet with Cabinet Ministers and senior officials of the government, independent institutions, major political parties and key media partners in the Maldives.

The purpose of the assessment mission is to conduct an evaluation of the criteria and the Maldives’ eligibility for membership, assessing its aspirations and commitment to the principles of the Commonwealth Charter, and to meet with key officials in the government.

The Commonwealth Team is headed by Advisor and Head of Asia, Europe, Carribean and Pacific Albert Mariner, in the Commonwealth Secretariat.

Maldives first joined the Commonwealth in 1982 but left the organisation in October 2016 after 34 years as a Member State.

The objective of re-joining the Commonwealth has been high on the agenda of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s Government.

The Government is now in the process of fulfilling all the membership requirements to rejoin the organization.

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