The United States of America wished to see a "stable, democratic, and free" Maldives, declared the US Ambassador to the archipelago, Atul Keshap, on Tuesday evening.
He made the remark at the annual Iftar reception hosted by the US Embassy for the Maldives, held at Hotel Jen, during which the ambassador conveyed Ramadan greetings to the Maldives on behalf of the US.
Ambassador Keshap stated that the US shared the Maldives' vision as a free and democratic nation that "plays a central role in maintaining the stability, prosperity and peace of the Indo-Pacific region."
"We believe in a Maldives that is a beacon of decency, transparency and genuine democracy here and throughout the Indian Ocean region," he said as he affirmed the US' commitment to working with Maldivians to strengthen bilateral ties, promote greater mutual understanding and secure brighter futures for the people of both nations.
In his address, Keshap highlighted some of the endeavours undertaken by the US to improve the well-being and quality of life of the Maldivian people.
He revealed that the United States Agency for International Development is currently helping to provide sustainable, clean drinking water for more than 4,000 residents in Lhaviyani Atoll's Hinnavaru through a desalination and rainwater-harvesting system. The agency has also worked with the Maldivian government to strengthen the management of coral reef ecosystems.
The ambassador further noted that US Embassy personnel are also working with emergency first response teams to provide better healthcare across the Maldives. Keshap proclaimed that, since 2004, the American Centre in capital Male has partnered with civil society organisations and ministries including Youth and Sports, Education, and Environment, to launch programs focussed on democracy, freedom and education.
Noting that Ramadan was a holy month of reflection, devotion, selflessness and peace, Ambassador Keshap urged everyone to refocus their efforts on the qualities of patience, mercy, kindness and compassion towards each other.
This is the third annual Iftar hosted by Atul Keshap during his tenure which began in 2015. In a recent development, US President Donald Trump has nominated a new envoy to the Maldives, Alaina Teplitz, who is the current US Ambassador to Nepal. She would replace Keshap if the US Senate confirmed her appointment.