05 September 2019
1. On the invitation of His Excellency Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, President of the Republic of Maldives, Honourable Ranil Wickremesinghe, Prime Minister of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, undertook an Official Visit to the Republic of Maldives on 2 September 2019.
2. Official talks between President Solih and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe were held in a warm and friendly atmosphere reflective of the long standing historic and close relationship between the two countries. The two leaders discussed ways to further strengthen the existing bilateral cooperation and people-to-people contacts between the two countries. President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih also hosted a State Luncheon in honour of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and the accompanying delegation.
3. His Excellency President Solih recalled with appreciation the very successful State Visit to Sri Lanka he undertook in February this year and thanked His Excellency President Maithripala Sirisena, the Honourable Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and the Government of Sri Lanka for the invitation and warm hospitality extended to him and his delegation during the Visit.
4. President Solih thanked Prime Minister Wickremesinghe for accepting his invitation to visit the Maldives and expressed optimism that the bilateral relationship between the Maldives and Sri Lanka will continue to prosper in the years ahead.
5. President Solih expressed his sympathies and condolences to Prime Minister Wickremesinghe on the devastating terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka in April this year. President Solih commended the swift action of the Government of Sri Lanka to apprehend the perpetrators and provide protection to the communities.
6. The two leaders reaffirmed and expressed their appreciation of the deep-rooted friendship, reinforcing the mutual trust, respect and goodwill that exist between the two countries. President Solih noted with appreciation the invaluable and manifold contributions made by Sri Lanka to the socio-economic development of the Maldives, notably in the areas of trade and economy, tourism, youth development, defence, social protection, culture, health, education and capacity building.
7. The two leaders reviewed the existing programme of cooperation between the two countries and agreed to continue the bilateral engagements within the context of the Joint Commission between the Maldives and Sri Lanka. The Fourth Meeting of the Joint Commission will be held in Sri Lanka, later this year.
8. The two leaders expressed their pleasure and satisfaction at the signing of four instruments between the two countries, which will further intensify the bilateral engagement and, strengthen people-to-people contact and exchange. 9. Accordingly, the two sides signed the following MoUs/Agreements:
- Agreement on the Facilitation of Visa Arrangements.
- Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the area of Social Protection.
- Memorandum of Understanding on Vocational Training and Youth Development.
- Memorandum of Understanding on Higher Education.
10. Both leaders particularly expressed satisfaction at the successful conclusion of the agreement on the facilitation of visa arrangements between the two countries. The agreement accommodates the needs of the Maldives with respect to student, parental and guardian visas, and the requirement of Sri Lanka on long term business visas.
11. President Solih expressed deep appreciation to the Government of Sri Lanka for its decision to allow Maldivian nationals to undergo organ transplant surgery, including kidney and liver, at Sri Lankan hospitals.
12. The two leaders recognised global climate change as a significant threat and challenge to developing countries, particularly to coastal and, low-lying states and regions. Both leaders agreed to work together to promote adaptation and mitigation efforts, through bilateral, regional and global means and mechanisms, and emphasised the importance of the swift implementation of the Paris Agreement.
13. President Solih and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe agreed on the importance of working together bilaterally, regionally and in the multilateral arena in combatting the growing menace of terrorism, violent extremism and radicalisation at home and abroad. In addition, both leaders also agreed to address and counter threats posed by organised crime, piracy, narcotic and human trafficking.
14. President Solih and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe reiterated their commitment to work together to promote peace and stability in the Indian Ocean region in partnership with regional countries and other stakeholders.
15. President Solih thanked the Government of Sri Lanka for the solidarity and support extended to the Maldives on its decision to re-join the Commonwealth.
16. During the visit, Vice President Faisal Naseem and Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid paid separate calls on Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
17. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe also addressed a session at the People’s Majlis (Parliament) on 3rd September where he spoke of the historical and friendly relations between the two countries and his wish to see sustained peace and progress in the Indian Ocean region. The Speaker of the Majlis Mohamed Nasheed met with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe prior to the address.
18. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe thanked President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, the Government and people of Maldives for the warm and gracious hospitality extended to him and his delegation during the visit.