K. Male'
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15 Jun 2023 | Thu 07:52
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs
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Maldives-EU 4th Senior Officials Meeting
Maldives, EU hold Fourth Senior Officials Meeting
The Fourth Senior Officials Meeting between the Maldives and EU was held in Brussels on June 13
Discussions during the meeting re-affirmed the strong bilateral ties between Maldives and EU
Maldives and EU celebrate the 40th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations this year

The Maldives and European Union (EU) have held the Fourth Senior Officials Meeting.

The Fourth Senior Officials Meeting between the Maldives and EU was held in Brussels on June 13.

Discussions during the meeting re-affirmed the strong bilateral ties between Maldives and EU.

Maldives and EU celebrate the 40th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations this year.

Maldives and EU confirmed their mutual interest to further strengthen and deepen the mutually beneficial cooperation rooted in shared values and commitment to the principles of the UN Charter and international law.

Congratulating the Maldives on its accession to the Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), the EU side welcomed the country among the signatories of the new EU-OACPS Agreement, which will further strengthen the Maldives – EU partnership as well as regional integration.

Discussions also focused on how the accession to the new EU-OACPS agreement should pave the path for Maldives to negotiate accession to the OACPS’ Eastern and Southern African Group’s interim Economic Partnership Agreement with the EU, which provides for a tariff-free access to the EU market, including for tuna products.

Discussions also touched upon the concrete steps in the coming months towards this end.

Further deepening the engagement of Maldives and EU through the implementation of the EU Strategy for cooperation in the Indo-Pacific was also a topic of discussion.

As such, the EU expressed appreciation for Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid’s important contribution as a moderator and rapporteur for the Roundtable on Green Opportunities and Overcoming Global Challenges in the EU Indo-Pacific Ministerial Forum held in Stockholm on 13 May 2023.

Stressing the significance of maintaining a continuous commitment towards the consolidation of democracy, the protection of human rights, the strengthening of the rule of law, and the fight against corruption, based on implementing reforms in the justice sector, the EU re-affirmed its ongoing support to the efforts of the Maldivian government in uniting democratic reforms and its implementation.

The EU and the Maldives further emphasized the significance attached to the vibrant civil society, and freedom of expression and opinion as key foundations of democracy, essential to uphold as the Maldives prepares for the Presidential elections slated for September this year.

Both sides agreed to continue close cooperation in the UN and all relevant multilateral fora to address global challenges such as peace and security, sustainable development, climate change and biodiversity loss, water and plastic pollution.

Further, both sides also reaffirmed commitment to work closely together on promoting human rights in multilateral fora, including through the Human Rights Council.

Discussions were also held on the EU’s support under the 2021-2027 Multiannual Indicative Programme (MIP) focusing on some of the Maldives’ key development priorities such as green transition, climate change mitigation and adaptation, biodiversity protection and circular economy.

The EU side reaffirmed its commitment to support good governance, judiciary reforms and security and as a significant step in this direction, EU and Maldives signed the Financing Agreement of the new EUR five million action providing support to enhance the rule of law and to reduce corruption in the Maldives on the sidelines of the Senior Officials Meeting.

Avenues to further enhance security cooperation, especially in areas of counterterrorism and preventing violent extremism, as well as in maritime security domain were also explored by both sides.

Maldives and EU will continue expanding economic cooperation as partners in trade and investment and will also explore collaborations to adapt their Business Roundtable to the new context provided by the OACPS adhesion, to attract European investors and investments to the archipelago nation.

Both sides remain committed to the global fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and agreed to continue their strong bilateral cooperation in this area.

The meeting saw discussions revolving around the need for better cooperation and coordination to ensure sustainable management of fish stocks through the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission as well.

Maldives and EU also welcomed the agreement on a UNCLOS implementing agreement on Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction or “Treaty of the High Seas” and expressed commitment to its swift ratification and implementation.

Further, the meeting saw discussions touching upon the request of the Maldivian government to grant visa free travel for Maldivians to EU member states.

It has been revealed that the Maldivian government’s request for visa-free travel will be addressed when the next review of visa lists takes place, with the discussions having reflected the current efforts to solidify relations and promote greater connectivity between the Maldives and EU.

Deputy Managing Director for Asia and Pacific at the European External Action Service Paola Pampaloni and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Ahmed Khaleel co-chaired the Fourth Senior Officials Meeting between the Maldives and EU.

Last updated at: 8 months ago
Reviewed by: Maryam Dhaanish Nasheed
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