Saudi Arabia holds reception in Maldives to mark its National Day

Saudi Arabia holds reception in Maldives to mark its National Day
October 04 11:57 2015

The Saudi Arabian Embassy held a reception at the Paradise Island Resort in the Maldives to mark its 85th National Day on Thursday.

Vice President Ahmed Adeeb and senior government officials attended the first ever ceremony of its kind. Its National Day is marked on September 23.

Adeeb described middle-eastern kingdom as an important development partner for the Maldives and pledged to strengthen ties.

Saudi Arabia opened an embassy in the Maldives in August.

President Abdulla Yameen has visited the kingdom thrice since assuming office.

Following Yameen’s state visit to Saudi this March, the two countries issued a joint communiqué agreeing to increase “their commercial exchange while expanding and enhancing investment between the two countries and extending invitations to their respective private sectors to explore the available investment opportunities in both countries.”

In May, the Saudi government provided a US$20 million grant for budget support and the Saudi fund for development provided a US$80million loan for loan to finance infrastructure development projects in the reclaimed artificial island.

Yameen also met with King Salman during a personal trip to Mecca for the Hajj pilgrimage in late September.

On his return on September 27, an unexplained blast rocked the presidential speedboat and injured the first lady. A team of nine Saudi Arabian forensic experts are in the Maldives to assist with the investigation.

Meanwhile, following the ratification of controversial amendments to the constitution last month that authorizes foreigners to own freeholds with an investment of US$1 billion, Adeeb told The Hindu newspaper that the government was seeing interest from Middle Eastern investors, “especially from royal families there.”

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