Maldives endorses Pakistan stance on SAARC

Maldives endorses Pakistan stance on SAARC
ISLAMABAD: President of Maldives Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom, has expressed support for Pakistan to host the summit of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) in Islamabad.

A Joint Communique issued simultaneously in Islamabad and Male at the conclusion of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif to Maldives said both leaders agreed to further promote cooperation between the countries of South Asia including through the SAARC.

“Pakistan and Maldives have the close cooperation and
coordination between the two countries at regional and international fora on issues of mutual importance,” the statement issued by Foreign Office on Thursday said.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif undertook the official visit to
Maldives from July 25-27 July at the invitation of the President of Maldives, and participated in the 52nd Independence Day celebrations.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif held official talks with President
Yameen and discussed ways of further strengthening bilateral
cooperation and people to people contacts.

The two leaders agreed to work together to strengthen solidarity of the Muslim Ummah and promote true values of Islam internationally.

A number of MOUs/Agreements were signed during the visit to enhance cooperation in tourism, climate change, trade, education, and civil service cooperation and for capacity building of diplomats. Joint Working Committees were constituted to oversee implementation of MOUs signed between the Maldives and Pakistan.

These included MoUs between; Foreign Service Institute of Maldives and Foreign Service Academy of Pakistan, in the Fields of Climate Change and Environmental Protection between the Ministry of Environment and Energy of Maldives and the Ministry of Climate Change of Pakistan, Cooperation on Matters of a Maldives-Pakistan Joint Business Council between the Ministry of Economic Development and the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industries, between Maldives and Pakistan on Matters Relating to Tourism, between Maldives National University and the Virtual University of Pakistan, between the Civil Service Commission, Maldives and the National School of Public Policy, Pakistan.

Both leaders acknowledged their strong bilateral relations and pointed that the visit of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to the Maldives has provided impetus to their further strengthening.

President Yameen welcomed and thanked Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for Pakistan’s continued investment in the development of the Maldives, and invited investors to seize the opportunities to contribute further.

President Yameen assured security and safety for foreign
investments, and highlighted the work carried out to strengthen investor confidence.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif highlighted Pakistan’s positive
economic growth and underscored its policies for the security and safety of foreign investment and increasing investor confidence in Pakistan.

Both leaders welcomed establishment of the Maldives – Pakistan Joint Business Council and Joint Working Group on Trade, to promote business, trade and investment cooperation, enhance collaboration between private sector operators as well as strengthen institutional relations.

Both leaders underscored the importance of increasing
connectivity between the two countries, by reviving more direct air links between both countries.

President Yameen highlighted the importance of enhancing
cooperation in the field of tourism and stressed the benefits of sharing expertise in the hospitality industry.

President Yameen welcomed the support of Pakistan in enhancing youth development programmes in the Maldives and both leaders agreed on youth exchange programmes to foster close ties in various sectors.

President Yameen expressed appreciation for the continued
assistance from Pakistan in training Maldivian National Defence Force personnel.

President Yameen acknowledged the important contributions made by Pakistan to the development of the Maldives in the area of education and capacity building.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced a special grant of US$ 5 million as a gift by the people of Pakistan for the Maldivian people. He also announced five additional scholarships in the fields of medicine, engineering, pharmacy and dentistry for Maldivian students in Pakistani educational institutions.

While recognising climate change as the biggest threat to
development, both leaders agreed to work together to address its adverse impact. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif congratulated the Maldives for its continuous work on this front, especially as the Chair of Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS).

The two leaders reaffirmed their unequivocal and
uncompromising position against terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.

President Yameen appreciated Pakistan’s efforts in combatting terrorism and violent extremism, and underscored the importance of mutual cooperation in this area.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif briefed President Yameen on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which aims to promote economic integration and foster economic development.