Thank you very much Chancellor for the very nice words and all the encouragement that the Chancellor has given me personally and also the German government’s involvement and assistance all throughout the democratization process in the Maldives.
As the Chancellor has pointed out, during the course of the last 3 – 4 years, coming from a predominantly Muslim society, we have been able to come out with political parties, we have been able to galvanise the public for political activism, we have been able to have a free and fair election, we also have been fortunate to have a smooth transfer of power. We are now in the process of consolidating democracy.
In our conversation I mentioned to the Chancellor that we in the Maldives are looking for German Islamic knowledge. This might be surprising but I have done my homework and I am quite aware of the amount of German discourse in Islamic jurisprudence. German universities have been leading, especially during the early 1900s, in this area. And it is only very recently that we have lost a fair amount of German work in this area. German was the first foreign language on which the Quran was translated. We would really want to see more German assistance in trying to build up our institution of Sharia and Law, that is Maldive law and it is not necessarily the kind of idea that one has when we mention Sharia. It is not that.
We are a more tolerant and a free country and we want to keep it that way. To do that, we of course need a fair amount of assistance from everyone.
I will be in Berlin University tomorrow and I would further try to impress upon this point.
I would also like to thank the German people and the Chancellor for the amazingly productive role that she played during the very early hours and the very difficult negotiations in Copenhagen. I was there among the 25 countries who were trying to hammer out an agreement in Copenhagen. Of course it didn’t satisfy all of us. It didn’t satisfy the Chancellor, it doesn’t satisfy me. But we were able to come up with that limited amount mainly, I would again stress and history would tell you this one day, because of her very productive engagement. And the Chancellor’s backing of the small islands was in my mind very romantic and I really quite appreciate her for having done that.
Of course, Maldives is not a foreign country to the Germans. We have more that 250,000 Germans coming to the Maldives and this has been happening for the last 30 years. And I therefore believe most Germans would have been aware of the Maldives and we want them coming. We want them to continue coming.
As the Chancellor mentioned, Afghanistan is a serious issue for us. Islamic radicalism need to be addressed at the hot spots. We are rather fortunate to have German troops in Afghanistan, but we would like to see a settlement in that country. We don’t want to see anyone’s blood spilled anywhere. And I am sure these arrangements can be made and I am sure understandings can be reached. We can have proper conversations and we will be able to, hopefully, come out victoriously. I believe in fighting against the odds. I have been fortunate to be standing here not because anything was favourable to us. And I strongly believe we can win against the odds also in climate change.
Again thank you very much for a very warm welcome from the Chancellor and the German people.