Pres Solih meets Portuguese pres on UNGA sidelines

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has met with the President of the Portuguese Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, on the sidelines of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). The meeting was held at the United Nations (UN) Headquarters in New York City.

During the meeting, the presidents expressed interest to strengthen the existing relations between both counties. The Portuguese President flagged tourism, renewable energy and digitalisation as three areas that the two countries could consolidate coordination in. With regard to digitalisation, the Portuguese President highlighted the upcoming technology conference, Web Summit, in 2021 that the Maldives may consider participating in.

President Solih reciprocated the Portuguese President’s interest in expanding cooperation in the tourism sector and expressed interest to explore avenues to widen mutually beneficial investment opportunities with Portugal and the wider European Union. Both sides also discussed collaborating in the area of blue economy, an area that both countries have keen interest in.

The two presidents also touched on the topic of the COVID-19 pandemic and the measures taken to tackle the pandemic. They also discussed climate change, and the Portuguese president noted that climate change has felt consequences for Portugal and the Maldives since both are maritime countries. The call ended with both sides reiterating their commitment to elevating the amicable ties between the Maldives and Portugal in the coming years.

The Maldives and Portugal established diplomatic relations 26 years ago, on 9 February 1995.