Commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, Admiral Robert F. Willard, has paid a courtesy call on President Nasheed. The meeting was held at the President’s Office this morning.

The admiral and the President discussed the historic close friendly relations existing between the Maldives and the United States, and ways to enhance these relations in the years ahead and ways of strengthening shared national concerns in the areas of maritime counterterrorism and counternarcotics.

The admiral said that it was a great pleasure to have had the opportunity to meet with the President and congratulated him for having won the first multi-party elections held in the Maldives.

At the meeting the President noted that the safety of our seafaring people was a great concern and said that the assistance of the U.N. Navy in this regard was much appreciated. The admiral assured that the U.S. Navy would continue to work together to ensure enhanced maritime safety and security in the region so that the waters around the Maldives illegal activities.

After the meeting with the President, Admiral Willard met with the local media and delivered a press statement. In his statement, the Admiral said “the United States and the Maldives enjoy a strong friendship, understood by our shared national concerns and security cooperation, especially in the areas of maritime counterterrorism and counternarcotics. On behalf of the United States Pacific Fleet and Pacific Command, I want to thank the government of Maldives for its consistent support of continued cooperation”. He also noted that the U.S. Navy was “pleased to regularly select members of the Maldives National Defence Forces to attend U.S. military academies, as well as professional courses, conferences and seminars.”