President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has assured Maldives sovereignty and citizen’s welfare is the highest priority for his administration.
The president made the statement during a televised national address on Sunday morning, to mark National Day 2020.
Solih stressed that his administration “considers two key aspects while fostering ties with foreign nations: ensuring the Maldives' continued independence and sovereignty; and citizens’ welfare”.
Recounting how Maldives was alienated from the international arena when his administration took over in November 2018, the president said that an “isolationist foreign policy” had resulted in the country being stripped of numerous opportunities to aid, privileges and resources.
While the incumbent administration has since revised this foreign policy, Solih emphasized the benefits available through this as well as “efforts to restore amicable international relations”.
The president described the foreign aid being granted to the island nation following the Covid-19 pandemic as “a distinct result of sound foreign policy and outstanding international relations”.
Speaking on the history behind the country’s National Day, President Solih encouraged vigilance in the patriotic duty to protect the nation.
National Day is celebrated on the first day of Rabi' al-awwal every year. The day is marked to commemorate the victory of Muhammad Thakurufaanu Al Auzam against the Portuguese invaders, ending a 15 year-long occupation of the Maldives in 1573.
President Solih also participated in the annual flag hoisting ceremony on the occasion National Day, early Sunday morning.
He was joined by Vice President Faisal Naseem, Defence Minister Mariya Didi, Home Minister Imran Abdulla and other senior government officials, at the ceremony held at the Republic Square.