Saturday, 31 May 2008

Maldives Foreign Minister visits Bhutan

May 30: His Majesty the King granted an audience to the Foreign Minister of Maldives Mr. Abdullah Shahid at the Tashichhodzong yesterday.

Mr. Abdullah Shahid arrived in the kingdom on a three day visit on Wednesday, May 28.

He is accompanied by the Deputy Foreign Minister Mr. Abdullah Hameed, the Ambassador of Maldives to Bhutan and other officials.

Mr. Abdullah Shahid became the Foreign Minister of Maldives in August last year. Previously he has served as executive secretary to the president and assistant cabinet secretary.

Also this morning, Mr. Abdullah Shahid called on the Prime Minister Lyonchen Jigmi Thinley, his Bhutanese counterpart Lyonpo Ugyen Tshering and other senior government officials.

Speaking to BBS later in the afternoon Mr. Abdullah Shahid said he has come to Bhutan to offer the greetings of the president, government and people of the Maldives to His Majesty the King and the people of Bhutan on the kingdom’s peaceful transition to democracy.

He said Bhutan’s transition to a Democratic Constitutional Monarchy is an example to countries in the region and rest of the world. He said the example set by the Bhutanese leadership is exemplary and commendable.

On the relations between the two countries, he said given the physical distance, there is a need for direct routes of transportation to promote people to people contact.

He said he spoke about the establishment of direct-air transport link during his meeting with the Prime Minister Lyonchen Jigmi Y. Thinley and Foreign Minister Lyonpo Ugyen Tshering. He said there is room for enhancing the relationship.

In the area of economic cooperation, he said the two countries must share their experience. He said over the past 30 years, the Maldives has been able to develop a vibrant tourism industry.

He said to share its expertise the Maldives will offer two scholarships for Bhutanese students in tourism industry from next year.

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