Minister Shahid: Discussions underway for visa free travels to Europe

Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid: The Minister announced that discussions were underway to allow Maldivians to travel to European countries without visa on December 16, 2019. (Sun Photo/Ahmed Awshan Ilyas)

Discussions are underway to for arrangements that will allow Maldivians to travel to European countries without a visa, according to Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid.

The Minister was speaking at a joint press conference held in the Foreign Ministry with the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to the Maldives H.E Jörn Rohde which also announced that Maldivians can apply for German Schengen Visa from the Maldives from March 2020 onwards.

“We are now working to make arrangements so that Maldivians can travel to European countries without a visa. Discussions are underway with the European Union and member countries for this.” said the Minister.

The Minister noted that the visa easements marketed the Maldives in these countries and a few other countries have also expressed interest in following suit.

“What happens is, a bit of rivalry comes into effect. The Maldives is the most famous tourist destination in the world, despite its small population.” said the Minister.

Ambassador Jörn Rohde speaking at the conference, also highlighted the fact that Germans visited the Maldives more than Sri Lanka in 2019, which was a 15 percent increase from last year.