Seychelles, Maldives pledge to enhance relations to “strategic partnership” level

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Seychelles’ President Wavel Ramkalawan and First Lady Linda Ramkalawan received a ceremonial welcome in the Maldives on Monday, as part of а state visit from June 11-14 undertaken on the invitation of Maldivian President, according to a joint press statement.

The visit is the first time a Seychellois head of state undertakes a state visit to the neigbouring island nation.

“The visit is a true reflection of the shared commitment of the two countries to take their relationship to new heights, as neighbours in the Indian Ocean, sharing similar historical, socio-economic, and cultural values and bonds,” said the statement.

The two presidents held talks with the aim of increasing their bilateral relations to “a strategic partnership,” said the statement.

During the official talks, the two leaders highlighted the importance of people-to-people contacts, and the need to promote cultural exchanges and economic linkages between the two countries.

They spoke about the need to exchange experiences in the field of tourism and discussed ways to “effectively address the detrimental effects of climate change through global mechanisms, including working together to ensure that the hard-won Loss and Damage Fund is operationalised at COP28,” as small island developing states (SIDS) that form part of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS).

Among other topics of discussion were sustainable development, the Blue Economy, maritime security, fisheries, drug trafficking and the need for SIDS to continue to push for a multidimensional vulnerability index (MVI) in global financing structures.

Furthermore, “The two leaders agreed to enhance multilateral cooperation, including collaborating closely at the United Nations on issues of mutual interest such as addressing climate change, protection and promotion of human rights, the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The two leaders also agreed to collaborate closely through other multilateral avenues such as IORA and the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS). President Ramkalawan congratulated the Maldives on its membership to the OACPS as well as its Presidency of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly for the period September 2021 to September 2022.”

Following their discussions, the two leaders witnessed the exchange of the bilateral agreements, namely the agreement on a short stay visa waiver, an air services agreement, a memorandum of understanding for youth development cooperation and a protocol for cooperation to combat transnational organised crime and other maritime and safety threats.

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