'Will protect country's sovereignty through strengthening ties'

Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid has stated that the government would work towards protecting the country's sovereignty and independence through strengthening relations with the international community.

The minister made his remarks in a statement published on the occasion of Victory Day.

In his statement, the minister said the events of November 3, 1988 showcased the special security threats and vulnerabilities faced by small States. That realization made Maldives take up the issue at the United Nations – resulting in multiple resolutions on the security of small states and their vulnerability to external threats, noted the minister. The Maldives efforts in this regard helped change the discourse on how small States are viewed and discussed in the international security debate, said Minister Shahid.

The minister also stressed the importance of building the national resilience to counter the emerging external threats of the twenty-first century. The need to invest in the ties that bind us to the larger international community has also increased, the minister noted.

The minister assured the resolute dedication of the government to continue to work towards protecting the sovereignty and independence of the nation, through further engagement and enhanced cooperation with the international friends and partners.

The minister further acknowledged the invaluable military support provided by the Indian Government during the November 3 incident, and expressed gratitude and appreciation.

"It is a day to value true friends and partnerships. The invaluable military support of the Indian Government on 3rd November 1988 remains etched in our hearts. Our highest gratitude and deepest appreciation shall never diminish", read the statement.

Victory Day marks the defeat of an attempted coup against then-president Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom in 1988. Armed with Sri Lankan mercenaries, a group of rogue Maldivians led the attacks which killed 19 Maldivians.