Shahid: Our friends have proven they will never close their hearts to Maldives

Maldivian Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid speaks during the ceremony to present a USD 250 million loan from India on September 20, 2020. (Photo/Foreign Ministry)

Maldivian Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid said on Sunday that though the whole world may have been forced to close their borders and their homes amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, friendly nations have proven they will never close their hearts to Maldives.

Speaking during the ceremony on Sunday to present the USD 250 million issued by India to Maldives as budget support, Shahid noted that the Covid-19 pandemic has presented the entire world will unprecedented challenges, but that friendly nations continue to show exemplary support to Maldives even in face of such challenges.

“But our friends, like always, have proven that this plague will not force them to close the doors to their hearts. And India, even during such difficult times, has remained a great friend to Maldives,” said Shahid.

Shahid said that India itself is facing difficulties amid the pandemic, but continues to prove that Maldives-India relations will remain a top priority.

“One lesson taught by this virus is the importance of collective effort; the difficulties facing the entire world, and the need for all nations to work together in this situation,” he said.

“India is one such example. India has shown an example to the entire world. The USD 250 million loan granted by India is crucial to mitigate the government’s revenue gap and fulfill financial requirements.”

Shahid said that India has provided its support to Maldives from the onset of the pandemic, by assisting in the evaluation of Maldivian citizens from Wuhan – where Covid-19 originated from, to sending medical professionals, to sending medicine and food, to granting permission for Maldivian citizens who require urgent medical care to travel to Indian cities.

“India has always been the closest, and has readily lent its assistance to Maldives whatever it faces. I note the numerous assistance provided by India in different crisis situations over the years. Maldives and India will celebrate 55 years to the establishment of official diplomatic relations in November this year. This relationship is between the people of Maldives and India. This relationship is based on mutual closeness and trust,” he said.

Shahid thanked India for its continued assistance to Maldives.