30 May 2017, Male’

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed a grant agreement with the Government of the Republic of Maldives to provide grant aid of up to 2792 million yen for assistance for the project for the Digital Terrestrial Television Broadcasting Network Development.

This project will provide an Integrated Services Digital Broadcasting -Terrestrial (ISDB_T) television network through the Maldives, making information more accessible to residents and reducing information disparities among islands. This initiative will also advance the speedy communication of emergency warning information as a measure against climate change and to strengthen disaster preparedness.

JICA has been building a close relationship with the Government of Republic of Maldives by providing various supports including construction of seawall in Male’, construction of primary schools and installation of solar panels to promote clean energy.

In addition to the Grant Project, JICA has a plan to provide a technical cooperation project to enhance broadcasters’ capability to utilize newly introduced ISDB-T system. We expect to have synergetic effects from the projects to deliver maximum benefits to the people of the Maldives.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Maldives, His Excellency Dr. Mohamed Asim in his capacity as the Special Envoy of the President of the Republic of Maldives has met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka, Hon. Ravi Karunanayake, MP, this afternoon.

During this meeting, the Special Envoy conveyed condolences from the Government and the people of Maldives to Sri Lanka following the flooding and landslides that occurred due to torrential rains resulting in the loss of several innocent lives, damages to infrastructure, and a significant disruption of the lives of hundreds of people; and informed that the Maldives stands with Sri Lanka during this difficult time.

During the meeting, the Special Envoy of the President also handed over to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka, Hon. Ravi Karunanayake, MP, financial assistance from the Government of Maldives to the Government of Sri Lanka.

The Special Envoy of the President was accompanied at the meeting by the Ambassador of Maldives to Sri Lanka Her Excellency Zahiya Zareer, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ms Aminath Abdullah Didi and Minister Counsellor of the Embassy of Maldives to Sri Lanka, Ms Khadeeja Najeeha.

President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom, in his special message on the occasion of the beginning of the Holy month of Ramadan, appealed to all to make the best of the Holy month.

In his message, the President underscored that it is a true blessing to witness the Holy month and extended greetings on the occasion to the people of Maldives and to the wider Muslim Community.

The President highlighted that with the month of Ramadan comes also the opportunity to engage in our beliefs and spirituality.

Additionally, the President noted that the revelation of the Holy Quran took place during the month of Ramadan thus it is essential to engage in good deeds, avoid missing prayers and bring a renewed passion to studying the Quran.

On advice from the Cabinet, the President has decided on the Maldives’ participation in the Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation (IORA). The deliberations were made at today’s meeting of the Cabinet, on a paper presented by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Cooperation is based on the principles of sovereign equality, territorial integrity, political independence, non-interference in internal affairs, peaceful coexistence and mutual benefit among members. The main areas of cooperation include economics, science and technology, fisheries, tourism, and human resource development.

At today’s meeting, members noted that membership of IORA would facilitate resolving issues of piracy, terrorism, and other security concerns in the Indian ocean.

A Statement by President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom has been made the official document of the Arab Islamic American Summit held on 21st May 2017, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The Summit aimed to establish a new partnership between Muslim nations and the United States to fight against the menace of violent extremism and terrorism, and promote the values of tolerance, coexistence and stability.

In his Statement, the President remarked that the leaders present at the Summit have a collective duty to promote the values of tolerance and urged to bolster efforts to ensure peaceful coexistence. He emphasised that the Maldives condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and highlighted on the importance of addressing social grievances such as disillusionment, injustice and alienation that drive young people towards extremism. Extremist views, in the words of the President, cannot be beaten by violence but has to be challenged with counter-narratives that address grievances and the broader contextual conditions conducive to the spread of fear and violence.

He further noted that the Arab-Islamic nations are unfortunately at the epicentre of today’s debate and that terrorist activities carried out in the name of Islam continue to tarnish the name and image of our religion as one of peace, compassion, harmony, tolerance, justice and unity. Noting that contemporary security challenges involve transnational criminal networks that are difficult to trace and locate, the President called for reinforcement of cross-border intelligence sharing and management. At the same time, he solicited enhancement of legal and military counter-terrorism measures taken by the United Nations and to promote social cohesion over exclusion.

The Arab Islamic American Summit was chaired by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques His Majesty King Salman bin AbdulAziz Al-Saud. It was attended by leaders of Islamic countries and the President of the United States, H.E. Donald Trump.