The All-Party British-Maldives Parliamentary Group convened on Tuesday 11th July for their reconstitution meeting. Sir David Amess MP, the group’s chairman, was delighted to welcome his parliamentary colleagues as well as the Ambassador of the Republic of Maldives Mr Ahmed Shiaan to the meeting.
Following the election of officers, including two new Vice-Chairs, the Group proceeded to discuss current affairs in the Maldives. Ambassador Shiaan in his statement to the Parliamentary Group touched upon a number of key achievements of the current administration. These included major investments from 2016, which alone over the next five years are predicted to attract upward of 1.48 billion US dollars; creation of over 64,000 jobs; positive credit ratings given by Fitch and Moody’s; and the success of selling sovereign bonds for the first time. On the social sphere, Maldives has been commended by the World Health Organisation for achievements in the health sector and the ratification of the ‘Gender Equality Bill’, which guarantees equal pay for both genders.
Moreover, to improve services for citizens of the Maldives, water and sewerage systems have been established in several islands to provide residents with basic amenities that they previously did not have access to. The government has also implemented and improved health facilities in islands, to include a pharmacy, in all 188 inhabited islands in the country, and a network of sea-ambulances to ensure that citizens are able to receive faster medical attention when necessary.
To conclude the meeting, all of those in attendance at the APPG meeting acknowledged these positive economic and social strides made by the government and congratulated President Yameen. Members reaffirmed their support and commitment to the government of Maldives and agreed to strategize ways in which to further strengthen relations between the UK and Maldives, especially to develop trading ties.
The Group also expressed its concerns on the recent news of allegations of bribes being paid to members of parliament to change political parties. The APPG urges both international and domestic actors to respect the sovereignty and constitutional institutions of the Maldives and to allow the Supreme Court to address and resolve any constitutional matters. The Group also expressed its willingness to help and assist the Maldivian Parliament to overcome such challenges and discussed an upcoming official visitation to the Maldives.
The APPG for Maldives is a cross-party parliamentary group that works to strengthen and further fortify bilateral relations between the two countries.