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Foreign Ministers of Maldives and Sri Lanka discuss on improving bilateral relations

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Foreign minister Abdullah Shahid has discussed about ways to improve the bilateral relations between the two countries with the newly appointed Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka, Professor Gamini Lakshman Peiris via phone call.

In this call, Minister Abdulla Shahid extended his felicitations to Prof. Gamini Lakshman on being appointed as the new Foreign Minister and discussed on the close relationship between the two countries. The ministers also highlighted about the COVID-19 situation in South Asia and what could be done to take more preventive measures against COVID-19 and the vaccine programs that are ongoing.

Furthermore, Minister Abdulla Shahid also expressed his gratitude towards Sri Lanka for the support given to Maldives when he competed for the 76th President of the United Nations General Assembly. He reassured and gave his word of confidence that Maldives will continue to work together with Sri Lanka to reach his goals for the UN. Minister Abdulla Shahid and Sri Lanka’s Foreign minister Prof. Gamini Lakshman further discussed opportunities to work together on international projects.

COVID 19

The Chinese Ambassador is hopeful for the second shipment of the vaccine gifted from China to arrive in the Maldives soon.

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Chinese Ambassador in the Maldives, Wang Lixin has said that she expects the second shipment of Covid vaccines from China to arrive in the Maldives soon. Her Excellency Wang Lixin said this in a tweet last week Tuesday after a meeting with Maldives Health Minister Ahmed Naseem.

In this meeting with the health minister, it was discussed to strengthen the relationship between the 2 countries and work together as per the agreement between President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and the President of China, Xi Jinping. Discussions have been made to improve the health benefits between the 2 countries as well. On this note, the Chinese Ambassador has said that 4 there are 400,000 doses of the Sinopharm Vaccine on its way to the Maldives.

The first batch of vaccines donated by China was received at the beginning of this year with 2 lakh vaccine doses. After which, it was announced two months ago that 4 lakh doses were donated again by China. China is the one country that has donated the highest number of vaccine doses to the Maldives with a sum of 6 lakh vaccine doses to fight against Covid-19.

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SAFF championship’s amended timetable with changes has been announced.

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The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), football tournament SAFF championship’s first match between Maldives and Nepal has been rescheduled to go on at night time, after the opening ceremony.

The schedule for the championship has been changed twice before as well. When the schedule has first released the dates given were from 1st-13th. But after review, the schedule was changed to abide by FIFA match day policies, giving enough days in between for the players to rest.

The government’s senior employees will be attending the opening ceremony event. The Maldives has previously won twice in this competition, which was in 2008 playing in Sri Lanka and in 2018 playing in Bangladesh. Both tournaments were won playing against India. The Maldives remains to be the competition defending champions, so the slogan for this year’s championship is “Thinvanah faharu miee ey faharu” which translates to “Third time is our chance”, aiming to win the championship cup for the third time.

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A Bangladesh Airline to start flights from Bangladesh to Maldives.

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Bangladesh’s biggest private airline the US- Bangla Airlines to has scheduled direct flights from Bangladesh to the Maldives.

US-Bangla Airlines flights will commence in November of this year. The airline will be traveling straight from the capital city of Bangladesh Dhaka city to Male’ city. It is reported that the scheduled flights will start in the middle of November with 4 flights per week. Bangladesh’s Dhaka Tribune newspaper reported that the flights used for this will be Boeing 737-800 flights.  That flight has a capacity of 164 persons.

US-Bangla Airline stated that it is an aim for the airline to have an easy way for persons who wish to travel to Bangladesh from the Maldives. And that this decision will help workers who are employed in the Maldives as well.

US-Bangla Airlines is working on having scheduled flights to Bangladesh from Sri Lanka and Saudi Arabia as well. As of now, the airline has direct flights to Bangladesh from Dubai, Oman’s capital city Muskat, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Chennai, China, and Doha.

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