Minister of Foreign Affairs, Abdulla Shahid has met with the Deputy Managing Director, Asia and the Pacific, of the European External Action Service, Paola Pampaloni. During the meeting held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Minister Shahid and Deputy Managing Director Pampaloni reflected on the longstanding relationship between the Maldives and the European Union and discussed avenues to further strengthen the partnership in areas including democracy consolidation, judicial reform, counterterrorism, promotion and protection of human rights and environment and climate change.
Minister Shahid also expressed appreciation for the continuous support extended by the European Union to the Maldives especially in the economic recovery efforts of the country. Both Minister Shahid and Deputy Managing Director Pampaloni also agreed to further diversify the engagement between the Maldives and the European Union through the Multi-Annual Indicative Programme announced by the European Union for the period 2021-2027. Minister Shahid and Deputy Managing Director Pampaloni further explored opportunities to increase access of tuna products from the Maldives to the European market. Minister Shahid also reiterated the Government of Maldives interest to be part of the Schengen visa free regime.
Minister Shahid was accompanied by Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Ahmed Khaleel, Secretary Bilateral Dr. Hala Hameed and Joint Secretary Shiuneen Rasheed.
Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Ahmed Khaleel and Deputy Managing Director Paola Pampaloni will be co-chairing the Third Maldives – European Union Senior Officials meeting scheduled to be held in the Maldives on 25 October 2022.