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Shahid’s ‘Presidency of Hope’ at UNGA draws to end

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Maldivian Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid’s ‘Presidency of Hope’ at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has drawn to an end.

Shahid was elected the 76th President of the UNGA on September 14, 2021 – becoming the first Maldivian to hold the post. His one-year term expired Monday.

He held his last monthly coordination meeting with the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres last week, after he presented Guterres with a Maldivian Boduberu as a parting gift.

President of the 76th UNGA and Maldivian Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid (R) gifts UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres (L) with a Maldivian Boduberu on September 7, 2022.

Shahid won the election with 143 votes. He beat his rival, former Afghan Foreign Minister Zalmai Rassoul with a margin of 48 votes.

He made history by becoming the first Maldivian to hold such a high position within the UN.

He named his tenure ‘Presidency of Hope’, focusing on five ‘rays of hope’;

  • Recovering from COVID-19
  • Rebuilding sustainably
  • Responding to the needs of the planet
  • Respecting the rights of all
  • Reforming the UN

Shahid is set to formally hand over presidency of the UNGA to his successor, former Sustainable Environment Director at the Hungarian President’s Office, Csaba Korosi, later Monday.

President of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, Maldivian Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid delivers opening remarks at the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) on October 31, 2021. (Photo/UN)

Shahid had faced criticism when he assumed presidency of the UNGA, with many, especially the opposition, questioning whether he could perform two roles.

However, Shahid said his post at the UNGA wasn’t a “job”, but something he had earned as Maldivian Foreign Minister. He said he didn’t receive a salary from the UN, and that serving as Maldivian Foreign Minister was his only salaried job.

 

Source: Sun.Mv

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Maldives discusses strengthening cooperation with Bahrain

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President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and King of Bahrain Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa have discussed strengthening bilateral cooperation between the two countries. The discussions took place during President Solih’s ongoing state visit to Bahrain.

Upon their arrival at the Al-Qudaibiya Palace, President Solih and First Lady Fazna were received by King Hamad. It was followed by a welcome ceremony that included the performance of the national anthems of both countries and the introduction of their respective delegations.

During the meeting, the two leaders discussed ways to strengthen the close bilateral cooperation and areas of mutual interest between the two countries, including increasing connectivity, and bilateral and developmental cooperation. They expressed hope that the visit would lay the groundwork for a new era in the Maldives-Bahrain relationship while also enhancing and broadening existing ties. During the discussion, King Hamad also commended the tourism model of the Maldives. In light of the range of areas in which the two countries collaborate, both leaders expressed their gratification that the state visit, the first such visit by a Maldivian president to Bahrain, had been fruitful, with both countries agreeing to cooperate in a variety of fields.

Furthermore, President Solih highlighted the warm hospitality that had been accorded to him, First Lady Fazna, and the Maldivian delegation throughout their stay and expressed his heartfelt gratitude. Following the discussion, the president and the king met one-on-one to further discuss matters of cooperation.

Source: psmnews

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Maldives and Bahrain exchange four key agreements

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The Maldives and Bahrain have exchanged four key agreements, demonstrating a pivotal point of progress in the bilateral relationship between the two countries.

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa presided over the agreement signing ceremony at the Qudaibiya Palace in Bahrain. The agreements include the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Political Consultations exchanged between the ministries of foreign affairs of both countries and the MoU for Cooperation on Diplomatic Training and Exchange of Information and Documentation between the Mohammed bin Mubarak Al Khalifa Academy for Diplomatic Studies and the Foreign Service Institute of the Maldives (FOSIM).

The agreements also include the MoU on Cooperation in the Area of Youth and Sports Development between the Ministry of Youth and Sports Affairs of Bahrain and the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment of the Maldives, and the MoU on Climate Change between Supreme Council for Environment of Bahrain and Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Technology the Government of the Maldives.

At the ceremony, two additional agreements were also announced. The first agreement concerns the Maldives as a sea-to-air partner which provides access to Bahrain’s global sea-to-air logistics hub, and the second agreement grants the Maldives sovereignty over the data of its beneficiaries in Bahrain-based data centres.

 

Source: psmnews

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New seaplane terminal at VIA inaugurated

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The new seaplane terminal at Velana International Airport (VIA0 was inaugurated on Thursday.

‘Noovilu Seaplane Terminal’ was inaugurated during a special ceremony on Thursday morning by Vice President Faisal Naseem, Maldives Airports Company Limited’s (MACL) Chairman Mohamed Umar Manik and the Chinese Ambassador to the Maldives Wang Lixin.

The ceremony was also attended by Tourism Minister Dr. Abdulla Mausoom, Defense Minister Mariya Ahmed Didi and other senior government officials.

The new seaplane terminal is a USD 55 million worth project. While the terminal measures 28,000 square meters – its MRO Facility measures 8,836 square meters. The VVIP section measures 100 square meters.

Hailing as the largest seaplane terminal in the world – ‘Noovilu Seaplane Terminal’ has 42 lounges of which all except two have been leased to resorts. MACL’s ‘Vilu’ business lounge had 235 seats, whilst ‘Neeru’ lounge has 315 seats.

In addition to this new seaplane terminal, the newly developed Code F runway at VIA was also operationalized on Thursday morning with the landing of the inaugural flight. The Emirates’ aircraft had been inbound from Dubai, and upon landing was welcomed by a water salute.

Both these projects were incepted during former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom’s administration under an initiative to further develop the airport. The work was carried out by China’s Beijing Urban Construction Group (BUCG).

The airport development project valued at USD 800 million (MVR 12.3 billion) saw the establishment of a new VIP terminal at VIA. A new passenger terminal and a fuel farm are also being developed under the project.

 

Source: Sun.Mv

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