Maldivian President in S'pore on state visit

Mr Ibrahim Mohamed Solih will meet President Halimah Yacob and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
Mr Ibrahim Mohamed Solih will meet President Halimah Yacob and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih is in Singapore for a state visit today, at the invitation of President Halimah Yacob.

As part of his visit, Mr Solih will receive a welcome ceremony at the Istana, before meeting Madam Halimah, who will also host a state lunch in his honour, Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) has revealed.

Mr Solih, who arrived in Singapore on Saturday, will also meet Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, and the two leaders will witness the signing of two memorandums of understanding at the Istana.

One is for an Open Skies Agreement, and the other is on cooperation between the Foreign Affairs ministries of both countries.

Singapore has over 70 open skies deals with other countries and territories, which allow airlines to operate as many flights as they want, between and beyond both countries.

Mr Solih is accompanied by his wife, First Lady Fazna Ahmed, and ministers and senior officials for the state visit.

Mr Solih and Madam Fazna will also visit the Singapore Botanic Gardens, where an orchid will be named in their honour.

They will also make a trip to Semakau Landfill, to learn about Singapore's experience in waste management, said the MFA.

The Republic of Maldives' President's Office said: "This trip is intended to strengthen our bilateral ties with Singapore, and reinvigorate our cooperation with them on a myriad of fields ranging from security and trade to health and education collaboration."

Singapore and the Maldives established diplomatic ties in 1975, and collaborate on several fronts.

Singapore firms, for example, have investments in the tourism sector in the Maldives. Maldivian officials also train under the Singapore Cooperation Programme, which provides courses for officials from other nations.

Correction note: In an earlier version of the story, it was reported that Singapore and Maldives would sign an updated Open Skies Agreement. The MFA has since clarified that the countries are signing such an agreement for the first time.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 01, 2019, with the headline 'Maldivian President in S'pore on state visit'. Print Edition | Subscribe