His Excellency President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and First Lady Fazna Ahmed have returned to the Maldives following the conclusion of President Solih’s State Visit to Seychelles.

The visit was undertaken upon the invitation of His Excellency Danny Faure, President of the Republic of Seychelles and was the first-ever State Visit by a Maldivian leader to our kindred archipelagic republic and fellow AOSIS member.

The visit proved to be a fruitful one, progressing our already excellent bilateral friendship. During official talks, both leaders expounded at length on the many challenges we share and on the many areas in which we can expand cooperation, with climate change and maritime issues being accorded special priority.

Further, during the course of the visit, the governments of Maldives and Seychelles signed a general cooperation agreement and six Memoranda of Understanding to further our cooperation in the following fields: Fisheries, Tourism, Blue Economy, Foreign Ministry Cooperation, Sports Cooperation and Vocational and Youth Training and cooperation in climate change.

Progressing our cooperation in sports, in particular, comes at an opportune time for the Maldives in light of the IOIG governing council’s decision to allow the Maldives to host the next edition of the event in 2023. Seychelles and the Maldives already have a robust history of sporting cooperation (for instance, in recent years, Seychelles gifted the Maldives with a sailing boat to participate in sailing events), and building on these solid foundations will no doubt prove a boon to our athletes, as they prepare in upcoming years to participate in the 11th IOIG event.

In addition to the above, President Faure also announced that from this year onwards the Seychellois government will offer four scholarships for Maldivian students to study maritime fields at Seychelles’ University. More details on the exciting opportunities that this will entail will follow, but at the outset, we want to express our immense gratitude towards Seychelles’ government for this extremely generous gesture.

President Solih was happy to have concluded such a productive visit and relayed his thanks for the exceptional hospitality accorded to the First Lady, his Delegation and himself throughout the course of this visit, and expressed that he would be jubilant at the prospect of reciprocating Seychellois hospitality in the future.