Britain has established its high commission in the Maldives’ capital Male, becoming the first European country to open a diplomatic mission in the country for its luxury tourism and white sandy beaches
Britain has established its high commission in the Maldives’ capital Male, becoming the first European country to open a diplomatic mission in the country for its luxury tourism and white sandy beaches. A week earlier, Australia had also announced its plan to establish its mission in Male in a sign of the growing geostrategic importance of the Indian Ocean archipelago.
Most countries included the Maldives in the diplomatic remit of their envoy in New Delhi who is also concurrently accredited to Male.
In a special ceremony held in Male earlier this week, Maldives Foreign Minister Abdullah Shahid said in his virtual speech that the move showed the mutual desire of the two countries to further strengthen the bilateral ties. “The United Kingdom was the first country to recognize Maldives’ independence,” Shahid was quoted as saying by Sun news.
Shahid, who is also the president of the 76th UNGA, said, “We will always remain grateful to the United Kingdom for championing the Maldives’ entry to the United Nations at a time UN membership of small states was a controversial issue.”
Britain in 2018 had announced its decision to open its diplomatic mission in the country. Shahid also thanked Lord Tariq Ahmed, UK’s state minister for foreign affairs, commonwealth and development affairs (South and Central Asia), who also attended the ceremony in Male.
A country of around 540,000 people, the Maldives is getting significant visibility on the international stage ever since its Foreign Minister Abdullah Shahid won the election for the president of the 76th United Nations General Assembly.