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First Visit To Serbia By High Maldivian Official In 15 Years

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The First Vice-President of the Government of the Republic of Serbia and the Minister of Foreign Affairs Ivica Dacic and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Maldives Abdul Shahid signed the Plan of Political Consultations of the Line Ministries, which is an introduction to greater cooperation between the two countries, it was announced on the Government’s website.

At a joint press conference with Shahid, Dacic stated that the two countries had good relations during the Non-Aligned Movement, but that they were a little neglected.

“Last year we had a trade exchange of 460,000 dollars. The plan for political consultations between the two ministries is an introduction to the mutual desire to develop relations”, Dacic said and emphasized that the visit of Minister Shahid is the first visit to Serbia of a Maldivian high-ranking official after 15 years, but he reminded that Shahid was in Belgrade for the anniversary of the Non-Aligned Movement when he was president of the United Nations General Assembly.

According to him, during the meeting there was talk of an agreement on cooperation in the field of sports, according to which 25 young athletes from the Maldives would have a free stay at a sports camp in Serbia, as well as an agreement in the field of education that is suitable for students from the Maldives.

Dacic said that he also discussed the visa regime with Shahid, where the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Maldives informed him that 5,000 citizens of Serbia visit that country annually and that they receive visas at the airport. However, when someone from the Maldives needs to come to Serbia, they have to go to our embassy in India, which is a four-hour flight.

“Our visa policy must be harmonized with the European Union, but I do not believe that the Maldives with 500,000 inhabitants is a problem for the EU,” Dacic said.

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According to him, fishing and tourism are developed in the Maldives, and Serbia is interested in exporting food products to that country.

The First Deputy Prime Minister emphasized that the Maldives respects the universal principle of territorial integrity, which is why our friendship is particularly important.

Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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