The Maldives and Seychelles on Friday signed seven cooperation agreements during President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s state visit to the Indian Ocean neighbour.
“In addition to a general cooperation agreement, our two governments have established new frameworks for collaboration between our two foreign ministries, in tourism, blue economy, vocational training and youth development, and in sports cooperation,” the president’s office said.
The Maldives was “excited to take forward our sporting cooperation in particular and lay the groundwork for the next [Indian Ocean Island Games] event scheduled to be held in the Maldives in 2023.”
The Maldives won its bid to host IOIG for the first time with the support of Seychelles.
Accompanied by First Lady Fazna Ahmed and a high-level delegation, President Solih departed to Seychelles on Thursday at the invitation of Seychelles President Danny Faure.
It marked the first state visit by a Maldivian head of state since diplomatic relations were established 40 years ago.
After a ceremonial welcome with an honour guard, Solih and his Seychellois counterpart presided over bilateral talks.
Discussions focused on mutual interests and common challenges as small island nations as well as “the need to take forward cooperation on climate change, developing the blue economy and combatting illicit activity such as maritime piracy; narcotics and human trafficking; and terrorism,” the president’s office said.
Solih thanked Seychelles for offering four annual scholarships starting this year for Maldivian students to study maritime sciences at the University of Seychelles.
First Lady Fazna meanwhile toured the Seychellois National History Museum with Cecile Kalebi, Seychelle’s Principal Secretary for Culture. She also visited the Perseverance Secondary School and met with a group of young women who were due to commence undergraduate studies.
On Friday night, the first couple attended a state banquet hosted in their honour by Seychelles President Faure.
The president is due to return to the Maldives on Sunday.
Maldives' first ever State Visit to Seychelles is proving to be highly successful. Today President @ibusolih met H.E. Danny Faure, President of Seychelles where both countries agreed to cooperate in a range of areas from education to sporting to diplomacy to ocean conservation. pic.twitter.com/LJSDi2guxa
— Ibrahim Hood (@MvSpokesperson) August 2, 2019
Honoured to accompany President @ibusolih on first-ever State Visit of a Maldivian Head of State to the beautiful islands of Seychelles. Confident that the visit will elevate long-standing friendship & cooperation between our two island nations to new heights. @BarryFaure pic.twitter.com/WA8hhdIQFu
— Abdulla Shahid 🎈 (@abdulla_shahid) August 2, 2019
Land of the Coco de mer.
In the history of Maldives; #Seychelles, before it was inhabited, was given the name "Thaavahkara" by our ancestors on their voyages across the seas.
— Ministry of Arts, Culture and Heritage (@MACH_MV) August 2, 2019
#Seychelles– What a beautiful country!
With green rolling hills, cool sea breezes, sandy beaches, and a sense of hospitality as warm as the weather, there is much here that reminds us of home in the Maldives. pic.twitter.com/DRnXiorOnt
— Ibrahim Mohamed Solih (@ibusolih) August 2, 2019
#Maldivies #PresidentSolih arrives in #Seychelles for his first State Visit. Here with his spouse, First Lady #FaznaAhmed, and Designated Minister Macsuzy Mondon of Seychelles at the Seychelles International Airport. @ibusolih pic.twitter.com/Qjio8e7lQV
— Barry Faure (@BarryFaure) August 2, 2019