Saudi Arabia backs Foreign Minister's candidature for UNGA presidency

Saudi Arabia has backed the candidature of Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid in the Maldives’ bid for the United Nations General Assembly’s presidency.

The Maldives has announced its interest in running for the 76th UNGA’s presidency. The foreign ministry said the decision was made as part of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s foreign policy. In this regard, the proposed budget for 2021 allocates MVR 4.35 million for the purpose of campaigning for the post.

While efforts to gather the backing of UN members are underway, Indian Foreign Secretary, Harsh Shringla, during his recent trip to the Maldives assured India’s backing for Minister Shahid’s candidature.

AVAS has learnt that Saudi Arabia has also assured its backing for Minister Shahid. According to sources, the decision to back the minister’s candidature has been officially informed to the Maldives’ Foreign Ministry. However, the ministry has not commented on the reports.

The post of president of UNGA is voted on a yearly basis by the members of the core UN body. In June, Turkish Diplomat Volkan Bozkir was elected President of the forthcoming session of the UN General Assembly.

Among South Asian states, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh nationals have been UNGA President in the past.