Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid, signed a Memorandum of Agreement on Aviation Cooperation with the United States of America on Thursday.
The agreement, which was signed during a ceremony held at the US Department of State, aims to strengthen the terrorism prevention capacity of Maldives and ensure the safety of Maldivians as well as foreigners visiting the country.
Under the terms of the agreement, necessary training will be provided to local law enforcement bodies. Additionally, an Aviation Security Advisor will be established at Velana International Airport (VIA). The agreement will also facilitate the establishment of an explosives detection canine unit at the airport.
Principal Deputy Coordinator on Counter-terrorism at the US Department of State, Alina Romanowski signed the agreement on behalf of the US government. During her address, Romanowski reflected on the importance of collaborating with Maldives.
While, speaking at the function, Minister Shahid also stressed the importance of international cooperation to effectively combat terrorism which he described as a global issue.
Additionally, Minister Shahid expressed gratitude to the US government for the cooperation initiatives in this regard and expressed hope for further opportunities to collaborate in the future.
The foreign minister also met US Secretary of State, Michael Richard Pompeo at the US Department of State on Thursday.
Minister Shahid and Secretary Pompeo held discussions regarding justice sector reform, efficient governance, rule of law, transparent public financial management, anti-corruption, the growth of civil society, responsible infrastructure development, and education. Minister Shahid and Secretary Pompeo also agreed on the importance of partnership with the US for the safety, security and the prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region.
Minister Shahid has now departed from Washington DC after concluding his two-day official visit. The foreign minister was accompanied by Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Ahmed Khaleel, Ambassador of the Maldives to the US Ali Naseer Mohamed, Director and other foreign ministry officials.