Saudi Arabia assured loan assistance for airport development, says Dr Shainee

Saudi Arabia has assured loan assistance at a low interest rate from the Saudi Fund to develop the Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA), Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture Dr Mohamed Shainee has revealed.

Speaking to reporters at the airport yesterday after accompanying President Abdulla Yameen during a state visit to the kingdom, Dr Shainee said Saudi Arabia has offered a lower interest rate than other parties the government has approached.

“They have indicated they would give us a loan with about two percent [interest],” he said.

A Maldivian delegation would depart for Saudi Arabia in the next week for further discussions, he added.

Last month, the government revealed that the estimated cost of the INIA development and expansion project was US$845 million. The government had previously announced it was seeking a US$600million loan from China and Japan for airport development.

While a project for building a second runway has been awarded to Chinese Beijing Urban Construction Group (BUCG), development of the airport terminal was awarded to Japanese Taisei Corporation.

61324_7af2b0d2-b_President Yameen meanwhile told journalists that several bilateral agreements between Saudi Arabia and Maldives would be signed in the next two months.

The Maldives sought assistance in various fields, such as education, health, and foreign investment, Yameen said, and “constructive” discussions took place with government ministers during the visit.

During the state visit – made at the invitation of the Saudi king – President Yameen met the Saudi Arabian ministers for education, defence, petroleum and mineral resources, and finance.

The Saudi Arabian government has pledged 150 scholarships for Maldivian students to pursue higher education in Saudi institutions, he noted, stressing that relations between the countries have been significantly strengthened as a result of the visit.

Reject “foreign interference”

A joint communique issued on March 18 noted that President Yameen “held talks with the Custodian of 61346_742a4339-6_the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud in an amicable atmosphere that reflected the bonds of brotherhood that unite the two countries and the excellent relations between them.”

“The two sides confirmed their intentions to continue fortifying their bilateral cooperation in all fields including foreign affairs, defence, Islamic affairs, judiciary, economy, commerce, investment, education, and health for the purpose of accomplishing their common interests and providing support to the issues of the Muslim nation, while rejecting any foreign interference in their internal affairs,” read the communique.

“To this end, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has agreed to open an embassy in the Republic of Maldives.”

It also stated that the two sides agreed to increase “their commercial exchange while expanding and enhancing investment between the two countries and extending invitations to their respective private sectors to explore the available investment opportunities in both countries.”

“The Saudi Fund for Development will continue to finance the development projects in the Republic of Maldives and will consider participating in the expansion of Malé airport and beache preservation in Hulhumalé,” it added.

President Yameen meanwhile “emphasised that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the primary partner of the Republic of Maldives.”

Islamic Minister Dr Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed told the press that the Saudi government has agreed to increase the Maldives quota from 1,000 pilgrims at present to 2,000 next year.

President Yameen also requested a plot of land in Mecca to construct a hotel for Maldivian pilgrims, Shaheem revealed, the Saudi government agreed to allocate land.

Moreover, the Saudi government would assist with the establishment of an Islamic University in the Maldives, he added.

King Salman asked for an agreement to be signed between the Maldivian Islamic ministry and the Saudi counterpart in order to provide assistance in Islamic affairs, Shaheem said.

The communique also noted that the “two sides have agreed to finalise the procedures leading to the signing of an agreement in Islamic affairs between the two countries.”


8 thoughts on “Saudi Arabia assured loan assistance for airport development, says Dr Shainee”

  1. At least Maldives is gaining some thing by being a whahbi enclave of the Saudi by the dictum 'some thing is better than nothing'

    What ever happened all those human rights green loving hippy carbon neutral egoistic small time rattle prostituting parading the tiny Maldives as a wannabe joker of a white country in the international community.

    Where is Mr. Bob Dylan and his sitar

  2. So, the arabs are backing the enemy, are they?

    No matter - their sources of wealth will be nullified. Their oil will suddenly vanish into the bowels of the earth, and their opium poppies will start secreting deadly toxins that permanently incapacitate the farmer.

    The world will see that they are not gods.

  3. This was Yameen's attempt to deflect attention from the widespread criticism his regime is facing for the farcical "trial" of former President Nasheed.

    He goes off on a shopping spree to Saudi Arabia, one of the very few countries that will admit him.

    By pretending to be "good Muslim brothers", these not-so-holy men are trying to pull the wool over King Salman and fellow Saudis. Shaving your head whilst in Makka doesn't make one a good Muslim (rest assured the shaved heads will be enjoying a whisky or two as we speak)!

    Millions of dollars have been already loaned from the Saudi Fund for Development, and has largely been wasted on the airport. In fact, the Kuwait Fund and Saudi Fund has largely contributed most of the money towards this airport. It doesn't take a genius to figure out where all that money has gone, when you consider the state of the airport today.

    Seems like the "golden" 30 year tradition of begging the Gulf Arab States for money and squandering that to line up the pockets of the ruling class is set to continue for sometime to come.

  4. So, the Mugabe of the Indian Ocean paid a visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Not many other countries will let him in!

  5. So pleased to hear your Saudi mates will be establishing an Islamic University in the Maldives. Hopefully this will happen soon and our embassy will not be pestered for study visas any more. I wonder what courses will be available besides Arabic, Koranic Studies, Islam and Sharia Law?
    It is just a matter of time till driving for women, music and movies are banned, women forced to wear the abaya and a mutawwa police force formed to beat the crap out of anyone who forgot to attend Friday prayers.
    Thank Krishna I live in a civilised country. Secular and democratic despite being 80% Hindu. Beat that!

  6. Oh so what about the $600m from China to develop ---- oh yes that has lined his pockets already and now needs another loan....

  7. can somebody quickly write an article about the funny pics from India about parents scaling school walls to cheat on exams.. This missindiaagarawall thug or whoever must have been helped in school this way.

  8. @ miss maldives
    I do hope the picture of parents scaling the school wall to allow their children to cheat will put all Maldivians off from applying for study visas in India.
    Go to Saudi Arabia for studies and to Pakistan for medical treatment. I hear the drug rehab clinics in Karachi are excellent. They have the same drug problem as you and like you they also believe they have arab ancestry.
    I do hope you are wearing your abaya my dear.


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