President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has conferred the Most Distinguished Foreign Service Medal upon Ahmed Khaleel, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, and Ahmed Latheef, the Foreign Secretary. This recognition comes as both individuals conclude their extensive tenure in the foreign service. The honours were conferred in an official ceremony at the President’s Office.

Ahmed Khaleel, a veteran of the Foreign Service with over 41 years of experience, has held numerous positions. His career began on 22 December 1981, with the Department of Immigration and Emigration. He spent a significant portion of his career, over 17 years, with the Permanent Mission of the Republic of the Maldives to the United Nations in New York.

Khaleel also served as the Maldivian Ambassador to Japan for seven years before being appointed Secretary-Bilateral at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2016. He assumed his current role as Minister of State for Foreign Affairs on 22 November 2018. His tenure has been marked by numerous accomplishments that have elevated the Maldives’ global standing.

Ahmed Latheef began his service in the Maldivian foreign service on 26 November 1981. Throughout his tenure, Latheef has played a pivotal role in strengthening the Maldives’ relationships with other nations, international organisations, and regional groups such as the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).

Latheef’s contributions to the creation of SAARC and his role as the Maldives’ Director of the SAARC Secretariat have been particularly noteworthy. Latheef has held various positions within the foreign ministry and served as the first Maldivian Ambassador to China and as the Maldivian Ambassador to Germany.

President Solih’s decision to award these individuals the Most Distinguished Foreign Service Medal is a recognition of their efforts to uphold the nation’s interests, strengthen international ties, and contribute to developing the foreign service in the Maldives. Their work has facilitated cooperation with various associations and organisations and provided foreign service-related assistance to the citizens of the Maldives.