Speaker for the Majlis, Former President Mohamed Nasheed, Chief Justice Ahmed Muthasim Adnan, British High Commissioner to the Maldives Excellency Caron Rohsler, Ministers, Members,of the Parliament;
Ladies, and Gentlemen;
And a very good evening to you all,
Let me first take this opportunity to extend warm felicitations on behalf of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, to Her Majesty the Queen on this special occasion and on the joyous occasion of Her Majesty’s Birthday.
I would also like to take this opportunity to extend my warmest greetings, to Her Excellency Caron Rohsler, British High Commissioner to the Maldives, the Government and the friendly people of the United Kingdom on this momentous occasion celebrating Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
This year also marks another milestone in the Maldives-United Kingdom relationship; it is the Golden Jubilee of the visit to the Maldives by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second. Her Majesty’s visit to the Maldives 50 years ago, on 13 March 1972, was symbolic of the special relationship between our two countries and our people.
Over the course of her reign, Her Majesty has been constant in providing strong leadership in times of change and uncertainty. Her Majesty continues to express her love and generosity to Small Island states, and champion our most valued principles of unity, peace and freedom. More importantly, Her Majesty’s active role, in addressing and leading climate action across multiple platforms, is inspirational.
As a government we recognise the critical role of the environment in the national development and we continue to make every effort to ensure proper protection of environment and its preservation. This is why the Maldives was delighted to join The Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy initiative with other Commonwealth member states to protect two of our mangroves - Keylakunu & Neykurendhoo. The Maldivian High Commissioner for the United Kingdom, H.E. Dr Farahanaz Faisal also planted a tree to commemorate the Platinum Jubilee under The Queen’s Green Canopy initiative, making an everlasting contribution on behalf of the Maldives to Her Majesty’s environmental legacy.
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
The Maldives and the United Kingdom have enjoyed a close and cordial bilateral relationship since 26 July 1965 and this has contributed vastly to the socio-economic development of our country. In fact, the United Kingdom is the first European country to officially open a diplomatic mission in the Maldives. Our collaboration is dynamic, spanning over a multitude of areas including governance, judicial reform, environmental protection, sustainable development and defence cooperation. I am particularly happy to note the growth of our engagement between our security agencies through increased exchange of expertise, training programmes and exercises.
The Maldives also highly values the United Kingdom’s commitment towards supporting our development priorities such as the overall human resource development of the country. Programmes such as the Chevening Scholarships and the Commonwealth Scholarship Scheme, have immensely contributed to building a skilled and competent workforce that continue to serve at the top of their fields in almost all sectors of the Maldivian economy.
I would also like to note that the friendly relations between both countries have regained momentum with the Maldives' re-accession to the Commonwealth in February 2020. The Commonwealth remains one of the most reliable platforms for the Maldives to address our biggest concerns at the international arena.We were very pleased to have a contingent from the Maldives National Defence Force march as part of the Commonwealth contingent at the Platinum Jubilee Pageant celebrating Her Majesty. This represented the dedication of the Maldives to being part of this Commonwealth Family.
On this special occasion, I would like to take this opportunity to express sincere appreciation, on behalf of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, for Her Majesty’s tireless efforts in ensuring that our family of nations continue to be a point of connection, cooperation and friendship during these testing times. I look forward for greater engagement and cooperation between the Maldives, and United Kingdom and Commonwealth member states in the upcoming Commonwealth Head of States Meeting in Kigali.
As people from island nations, the Maldives and the United Kingdom share many interests, and a key area remains protection of our marine resources. The Maldives practices the most sustainable fisheries in the world — pole and line fishing — which ensures virtually zero discard and ensures that each fish is caught one by one, with as little damage to the environment as possible.
Given that the UK remains a major export destination for Maldivian fisheries products, our fishers and our fishing industry, are hopeful that the heavy tariff imposed on our sustainable fisheries products will be waived soon and will receive favourable market access in the UK.
Excellencies and distinguished guests,
Allow me to express once again, my heartfelt congratulations and good wishes to the High Commissioner Caron Rohsler and the Government of the United Kingdom on this joyous occasion. I would also like to express best wishes, on behalf of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, for continued good health, happiness, and peace and prosperity for the people of the United Kingdom.
I remain confident that the close ties between our two countries and people will continue to prosper in the years to come.