Bismillah-ah-rahman-ah-raheem His Excellency President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, His Excellency Dr. Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs of India, Honourable Members of Parliament His Excellency Sheikh Imran Abdulla, Minister of Home Affairs Commissioner of Police Mohamed Hameed Officers of the Maldives Police Service Mayor Ali Nizar and Addu City Council Members Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen,
Today, we are celebrating a historic milestone.
We are celebrating a historic milestone for our country – a milestone in our commitment to enhancing the capacity of our police service. Fulfilling a long standing, unmet national need of reforming and strengthening our police force. This National College of Policing and Law Enforcement – the Maldives Police Service’s principal training institute from today onwards – will stand as a symbol of this Administration’s commitment to our police service, its readiness, and to keeping our communities safe and protected. This structure – this college – will also be, another enduring symbol of the close, strong bonds of friendship, with our closest neighbour, our most trusted partner – India. Today, we are celebrating another historic milestone in our five decade strong partnership.
I am delighted that we are joined at this historic moment, by my good friend, our country’s good friend, External Affairs Minister of India Dr Jaishankar. Excellency, your presence here is a reflection of your personal commitment to our relationship – a relationship you have watched over, steered and guided for many years now. A relationship that you are intimately familiar with.
I also thank Prime Minister Modi for his personal commitment to our relationship. President Solih and Prime Minister Modi have set out an ambitious agenda for our relationship – which with your support, Mr Minister, I am confident we will achieve.
Excellency, I have compared the relationship between the Maldives and India to the wings of a bird, beating together in unison, moving forward and onwards. We are two nations bound by our shared waters, our shared history, our shared values, our shared interests, and our shared commitment to our people, and their prosperity. Ours is a relationship of mutual respect. One that is built on trust.
From the 1988 mercenary attack you helped foil, the 2004 tsunami you helped us to cope with, to the 2014 water crisis you helped us overcome, India has always proved that you will always be a friend in time of need.
From the many doctors, nurses, teachers, civil servants you have trained, to the many sick and wounded persons you have treated, to the many times you have supported financially and technically, India has continued to demonstrate it has the best interest of Maldivians at heart.
With the capacities you continue to support enhancing – be it infrastructure such as Indira Gandi Memorial Hospital or defence and security cooperation tools– India has proven time and time again, that you are our partner, in every field.
The Maldives was one of the countries most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. But today, we stand here, as a country, that is cautiously yet optimistically, looking forward, beyond the pandemic, because of the far-sighted policies of President Solih, and because of the support of many, especially India.
If not for early interventions of essential food supplies, medicines, or desperately needed financing – if not for vaccines, so generously donated – our country would not have been able reach this point today. If not for the travel bubble arrangement that saw Indian tourists arrive in the Maldives in numbers never seen before, our economy would not have begun healing as quickly.
Symbols of the strong development partnership between our countries can be seen throughout the country. From the many grant projects around the country, to the large projects being carried out under the Lines of Credit, to the long-awaited Greater Male’ Connectivity Project.
Today more than ever, collaboration is needed. To maintain security and peace, to maintain order in the Indian Ocean and beyond. And it is in support of this reality that the cooperation between the Maldives and India in international forums continue to strengthen as well.
The Maldives – India partnership is one that endures. One that has withstood the test of time. It is a relationship all Maldivians benefit from, one that all Maldivians cherish.
This age-old partnership has been reinvigorated since President Solih took office. It is part of his overall commitment to strengthening our ties with the countries of our region and beyond. These strong bonds of friendship with our neighbours, indeed, with the world, is testament to the commitment of President Solih, to multilateralism, and to international cooperation. I thank him for his vision and his leadership. Excellencies,
Today, we are celebrating historical milestones, for our country, for our foreign policy.
I pray that our country continues to celebrate these milestones. May Allah Almighty keep our country safe, and our people prosperous. Amen.
I thank you.