President Dr Mohamed Waheed been presented with Palestine’s highest honour during an official visit to the country, where he is acting as chair of the 4th International Islamic Conference of Bait Al Maqdis.
Dr Waheed was presented with the ‘Star of Palestine’ by President Mahmoud Abbas yesterday (June 4) in recognition of his efforts to strengthen relations between the two countries, according to the President’s Office website.
President Abbas was himself presented during their meeting with the “Nishan Izzuddeen” – one of the Maldives highest honours.
Speaking at the Islamic conference today, President Waheed spoke of the Maldives’ continued support for finding a two-state solution to ensure peace between Palestine and Israel.
He also spoke on the Maldives’ backing for the establishment of the State of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital from lands occupied in the 1967 war.
Dr Waheed’s speech was also critical of Israel’s policy of building settlements in occupied territories and the potential impacts it could have on the ongoing peace process, while also playing up what he believed was the global importance of Bait Al Maqdis.
“Bait Al Maqdis is not only important to Islam. It is an important sight for other great monotheistic faiths of the world. The Maldives supports the efforts being made to preserve the Islamic and Christian character of Al-Quds Sharif,” he said.
The full transcript of his speech can be read here.
President Waheed also pledged to provide his Palestinian counterpart with technical assistance in the fields of tourism, based on the Maldives’ experiences of operating high-end island resorts.