President Abdulla Yameen has revealed his government’s foreign policy today, stating that the most important objective was to increase economic self-sufficiency, describing this as a requirement of independent foreign policy.
“The foreign policy of my government will be based, just as those firm policies of President Maumoon, on the principle of mutual respect between countries, respect for the sovereignty of countries,” Yameen said.
He said that a well-thought foreign policy is necessary “for a small Maldives to travel safely amidst the turbulent political currents”.
“The foreign policy of Maldives will protect and sustain Maldives’ selfhood and Islam. [It is] a policy that will sustain the independence, security and sovereignty of the the Maldives. A policy that will open opportunities abroad for Maldivians to benefit from,” Yameen said.
The foreign policy revealed today has six main targets: protecting national independence and increasing national security, protecting the Islamic unity of the country and promoting Islamic characteristics internationally, increasing economic self-sufficiency, increasing South Asian regional cooperation, providing quality services for Maldivians living abroad, and the strengthening and development of foreign services.
In terms of protecting national independence and increasing national security, the government plans to increase cooperation with Indian ocean states in combating terrorism, piracy, and other non-traditional security threats, and get more involved in keeping world peace.
In addition to this, the government aims to improve relations with international civil society organisations and think tanks, and to improve the reporting for conventions to which the Maldives is a party.
Speaking at the ceremony held to reveal the policy, Minister of Foreign Affairs Dunya Maumoon said the Maldives’ role in achieving regional and international stability will increase in the coming five years and that Maldives will especially speak out on challenges faced by small states and on climate change.
On increasing economic self-sufficiency, Dunya said the ministry will work towards finding more markets for Maldivian products and increase the number of tourists and investors that visit the country. She particularly highlighted finding new markets for fish exports within the year.
Such new markets was something the government announced last year when the European Union declined to extend the duty-free status of imported fish from the Maldives for non-compliance with international conventions concerning freedom of religion.
“We should think about who gives [foreign] aid and what their intentions are. We should accept that [they] will not give without expecting something in return” Dunya said.
The foreign policy published today states “finding funding for development projects” and to “invest more in renewable energy” as strategies for increasing economic self-reliance.
Speaking at the ceremony Minister at the President’s Office Mohamed Hussain Shareef also highlighted the importance given to commercial diplomacy in the government’s foreign policy, and the need for creating a name internationally as a safe destination for investors and businesses.
Foreign service restructured
The government revealed that many steps have already been taken to strengthen the foreign service, including the establishment of Foreign Service Institute of Maldives (FOSIM) within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs last week.
This institution is mandated with providing training for foreign service employees and youth who wish to pursue a career in the foreign service. It is also to conduct academic research required for the formulation and implementation of foreign policy.
A Foreign Relations Advisory Council (FRAC) – composed of experienced persons who have previously served in the foreign service – was also created to advise the institute and a policy department.
In addition to this, President Yameen announced that a Foreign Service Bill will be sent to the People’s Majlis within the first hundred days of his government.
In the Foreign Minister’s speech she noted that foreign policy is much more than “getting as much aid from as many countries” and highlighted some achievements of Maldives foreign service.
“In 1965 many countries were against the UN recognizing Maldives as an independent sovereign state, however today those countries have accepted Maldives as a country that can work alongside at the same level,” Dunya said.
Lauding this as a great achievement, she said the Maldives was currently an active partner and a leader in many global issues such challenges faced by small states, protection of human rights, democratisation and climate change.
8 thoughts on “Government reveals foreign policy for next five years”
Apart from Mr. Solah Shihab, no one with a slightest understanding of economics and business came with a mile of the Maldives foreign Ministry in the last 40 years.. Powdered ladies in Maldives hedhun escorting foregn dignitatries seems to be the only competence the Maldives Foreign Ministry has acquired. Later there is some chatter about human rights, which is a disaster. The Chinese cleverly encapsulated the stupidity of the Maldives Foreign Ministry in their weird design - an eyesore and utter waste of space in the most prime location in Male.
Maldives foreign policy should be, “no policy is a policy”. This is the best policy for Maldives. It is not necessary to do everything what people do just for the name sake. Foreign policy is mainly a relationship with other countries for self interest. Maldivian foreign policy should be how you can sell tuna to other countries and have bilateral agreement to export tuna to those countries without much restriction. And stop emotional bond with people, based on what they believe about the reality of nature, the foreign mission's job should be to import and market the tuna to the countries where they reside and promote Tourism. Just get out Golhabo’s fantasy world and start a new life based on the reality on the ground,
The PPM government has a habit of speaking about Maldives' goals and its place in the international community as if Maldives' was under some constant, invisible threat. I'm not saying achieving things like economic self-sufficiency is not an admirable goal. But when you keep repeatedly talking about protecting sovereignty and Islamic faith from some invisible and unheard of threat that nobody has ever made, we're not perceived very positively in the eyes of the international community. That in itself is not good foreign policy.
Almost all agency ship for products, accountants, finance, trading, resort beds, external air traffic is controlled by Sri Lankans. Even local tuna is re-labeled as Ceylon tuna under forgeed certificates.
And where is Maldives foreign ministry all these years! There partying with Sri Lankan big shots
That's Maldives foreign policy.
The truth is Maldives NEVER faced a threat to its sovereignty from an external threat for centuries. Islamic faith has been here for over eight centuries. The only threat to Islamic faith is from deluded Maldivians copying what they see in the Middle East or South East Asia.
This "policy" is indeed the 30 year golden policy that was not a policy at all and one which didn't get us anywhere apart from a slowly decaying society that turned into a fast decaying society. You cannot go back to those golden 30 years for the simple reason that the world is no longer the same, not even remotely so.
More information is collected and disseminated in the world every year now than has been done every in the history of the world! Information travels instantaneously from one part of the world to the other. It's a truly "global" world now and PPM has no vision to engage in this modern age, but are instead trying to go back to the same old formula from the 1970's. Well, that ain't gonna sell much tuna I'm afraid!
Hah. Forced to sucker up to the Indians. I wonder what the takaa baigandu has to say now?
... probably nothing. They're too busy counting their payout.
Nasheed was the man who had ruined everything typing.
Nasheed was a threat to our democracy, freedom and even to our sovereignty .
How many times he spoken about giving up part of the country to India ?
Nasheed planned was to bring Indian army and let them be his body guards and security staffs and then give most north 3 atolls to India and get quick bucks out of Indian and then runaway to UK.
Hero.....without the Indians and especially Indian Aid, paid for from the taxes of Hindu taxpayers like myself, you are a big Zero.....gettit?
You dumb morons have delusions of grandeur and think India has territorial interests in your country.
Why would India have any interest in a country.....populated by sunni Muslims.....just one tsunami away from total annihilation?
I suggest you purchase some land in Saudi Arabia and establish your 100% muslim Islamic caliphate there.....with global warming you haven't much time poppets.
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