Preserving and promoting national peace has been the primary focus of the Maldives’ foreign policy over the past five years, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has stated. He made the remarks during a ceremony at the President’s Office, where he conferred the Most Distinguished Foreign Service Medal upon two long-serving individuals.

In his speech, President Solih reflected on the state of international relations when his administration assumed office, noting that ties with various international organisations were in disarray and diplomatic relations with several Islamic countries had been severed. This situation, he said, had led to the Maldives’ isolation on the international stage.

President Solih commended the administration’s diligent efforts to rebuild the international community’s trust in the Maldives. He expressed his gratitude to Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid for his instrumental role in re-establishing diplomatic relations and restoring international confidence in the Maldives.

Under President Solih’s administration, the Maldives rejoined the Commonwealth, from which the previous administration had withdrawn. The nation’s foreign policy has seen significant advancements, with visa-free travel now possible to 101 countries and diplomatic and political ties extended to 185 nations. The Maldives also successfully presided over the 76th United Nations General Assembly.

President Solih highlighted the transformations within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which was removed from the civil service mandate under a special law. This move aimed to strengthen the ministry and support the president and the administration in effectively implementing the government’s foreign policy.

The President also acknowledged the relentless efforts of foreign service officers during the Covid-19 pandemic. In closing, President Solih expressed his optimism for the continued growth and success of the Maldives’ foreign service sector in the global community.