Maldives and the Republic of Seychelles exchanged four key agreements on Monday, marking a significant step forward in bilateral relations between the two countries.
President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and the President Seychelles, Wavel Ramkalawan, presided over the agreement exchange ceremony.
The first agreement signed between the Maldives and Seychelles was on short-stay visa waiver.
The agreement would ease existing travel restrictions for nationals of both countries, who would be permitted to travel visa-free for 30 days.
This would also strengthen the socio-economic relationship between both countries according to both government.
The second agreement signed is to facilitate international air travel, promote economic growth, and ensure the safe and efficient operation of air services between the Maldives and Seychelles.
In addition to these, a protocol between the the two countries on the cooperation to combat transnational organised crime and other maritime security and safety threats was also signed.
The objective of this Protocol is to consolidate and further strengthen the cooperation between the two parties in search and rescue, combating piracy and other maritime security threats. The protocol would further strengthen efforts to ensure maritime safety and security.
A memorandum of understanding for youth development cooperation between the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment of Maldives and the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Family of Seychelles was also signed during todays ceremony.
This MoU aims to share the knowledge, experience, and resources between the Maldives and Seychelles and develop long-term cooperation in various areas, including capacity building and youth exchange programmes.
Delivering a joint statement at the President’s Office after the agreement signing ceremony, President Solih stated that four agreements were exchanged between the two countries to facilitate closer ties.
These agreements aim to promote people-to-people exchanges and interactions. President Solih and President Ramkalawan also emphasised the importance of increased trade and experience sharing.
President Solih and President Ramkalawan agreed to collaborate in addressing security concerns in the Indian Ocean region, including emerging threats such as piracy, drug trafficking, terrorism, and illegal fishing.
President Solih noted that the Protocol on Cooperation to Combat Transnational Organised Crime and Other Maritime Security and Safety Threats signed today is a significant step towards enhanced collaboration and joint efforts in ensuring regional security.