Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid, in a meeting with the Secretary of State of the United States Antony Blinken, emphasized the importance of waiving of visas for Maldivians traveling to the United States, aiming to promote people-to-people contact.
The meeting was held on Thursday as part of Minister Shahid’s ongoing official visit to the United States to inaugurate an embassy of the Maldives in Washington.
Maldives and the United States are at a crucial juncture of their diplomatic relations as both nations have decided to establish resident embassies in their respective capitals, underscoring the commitment to revitalizing friendship and cooperation.
Discussions between Minister Shahid and Secretary Blinken focused on an array of issues with a strong emphasis on enhancing peace and security in the Indo-Pacific region. Both nations, acknowledging the importance of upholding a rules-based international order, expressed their commitment to regional stability, maritime security, and promoting peace.
Minister Shahid, highlighting the importance of academic exchanges, scholarships, and collaboration across various fields of study, appealed for increased higher education opportunities for Maldivians to study at American universities.
Minister Shahid also emphasized the importance of waiving of visas for Maldivians traveling to the United States, aiming to promote people-to-people contact. Secretary Blinken, acknowledging the importance of enhancing such contact, assured the United States would explore possibilities to streamline visa procedures for Maldivian citizens.
Foreign Ministry noted that such facilitations would promote greater cultural exchange, tourism, and business ties, further strengthening the bonds between the two nations.
Secretary Blinken praised the Maldivian government’s leadership in climate negotiations on the international stage. He acknowledged the government’s leadership in climate diplomacy as an important contribution toward global efforts to combat climate change and promote environmental sustainability.
The meeting was also attended by State Minister for Foreign Affairs Ahmed Khaleel, Ambassador of the Maldives to the United States of America Abdul Ghafoor Mohamed, Permanent Representative of Maldives to the United Nations Thilmeeza Hussain, Secretary Bilateral Dr. Hala Hameed, Chief of Protocol Ahmed Shiaan, Director General Ahmed Nasir and Counsellor at the Maldives Embassy Zeena Didi.