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Chinese, Maldives FMs meet on sidelines of UNGA session

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Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi met here on Saturday with Maldives Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid on the sidelines of the 77th session of the UN General Assembly.

Wang congratulated Shahid on his successful performance of his duties as the president of the UN General Assembly, as he made positive contributions to the development of the UN cause and tackling global challenges, which helped the Maldives improve its international status and influence.

Noting that this year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and the Maldives, Wang said that over the past half century, the two sides have upheld the spirit of good-neighborliness, treated each other as equals, developed through cooperation, reached out to each other, and tided over difficulties together.

He also said that China highly appreciates the Maldives for understanding and supporting China’s just propositions on issues concerning China’s core interests and major concerns. China also supports the Maldives in safeguarding sovereignty, independence and national dignity, and will continue to uphold justice for the Maldives in the international arena, Wang added.

For his part, Shahid expressed his gratitude to China for giving his country precious support in infrastructure, education, energy and other fields for a long time. The China-Maldives Friendship Bridge co-built by the two sides has brought a sea change to the Maldives, greatly accelerating the country’s economic development and bringing benefits to its people, he said.

Shahid stressed that the one-China principle is a firm consensus of the Maldivian government, and the Maldives will always firmly abide by it. The one-China principle is also the international consensus confirmed by the UN General Assembly resolution, he added.

As the president of the UN General Assembly, Shahid said he has made a special press statement to express his position. He also thanked China for the strong support during his presidency of the UN General Assembly, looks forward to continuing strengthening coordination with China on multilateral affairs.

Wang said that China and the Maldives have enjoyed the tradition of mutual understanding and support, and China appreciates the Maldives’ adherence to the one-China principle, adding that on issues concerning sovereignty, no double standard can be tolerated.

He mentioned now that some countries flaunt respect for national sovereignty, they should match their words with their deeds, stressing that on the Taiwan question, China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity must be equally respected, “Taiwan independence” separatist activities must be clearly opposed and any form of official exchanges with Taiwan must be cut off.

The two sides also vowed to continue to promote high-quality Belt and Road cooperation and accelerate the ratification of a free trade agreement, so as to inject more stable and positive expectations into bilateral cooperation.

Source: Xinhua

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FM Shahid presents letter from Pres Solih to UAE’s President

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Foreign Minister His Excellency Abdulla Shahid, the Special Envoy of President His Excellency Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the United Arab Emirates, His Highness Sheikh Abdulla bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
At the meeting held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of UAE, Minister Shahid handed over a letter from President Solih addressed to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates, and conveyed greetings and well wishes from President Solih to the leadership and the Emirati people. During the meeting, the Ministers conversed on ways to further strengthen and diversify the long-standing relations between the Maldives and UAE.
Minister Shahid reiterated appreciation for the generous support and assistance provided to the Maldives through the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, and expressed gratitude on behalf of the government and people of the Maldives for the invaluable contributions made by UAE towards the socio-economic development of the Maldives, over the years.
The two Foreign Ministers expressed their renewed commitment to working together on issues of mutual interest, both bilaterally and in the international fora. Foreign Minister Shahid was accompanied at the meeting by the Ambassador of the Republic of Maldives to the United Arab Emirates, Her Excellency Aminath Shabeena, Assistant Director at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ahmed Salman Zaki and Second Secretary of the Embassy of the Republic of Maldives in the United Arab Emirates, Fathimath Urooj Nizar.

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Defense Minister: Terror attack recently foiled one of the most dangerous planned to date

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Defense Ministry Mariya Ahmed Didi has described the mass casualty terror attack using explosives recently foiled by Maldives Police Service and Maldives National Defense Force in a joint counter-terrorism operation as one of the most dangerous attacks planned to date.

Speaking at the ceremony held to mark the 29th anniversary of MNDF’s Southern Area Command – Minister Mariya stressed that the government was undertaking a number of efforts to counter the spread of extremism.

Despite these efforts, the Minister said that there are groups propagating extremism and conspiring fatal terror attacks nonstop, by allocating all their time for the purpose.

Therewith, Minister Mariya emphasized on the importance of basing actions on information attained through surveilling such conspiracies, and carrying out the necessary research.

“I believe MNDF’s area commands need to significantly increase capacity in this trajectory,” she added.

In this regard, she described the mass casualty terror attack using explosives recently foiled in a joint counter-terrorism operation as one of the most dangerous attacks planned to date.

Police have stated that three substances presumed to be explosive chemicals which was seized from the home of one of the arrestees from the operation when tested by MNDF’s Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) had shown to have highly explosive substances. They emphasized that EOD reported that small quantities of the chemical can fatally injure a human, and cause great damage to goods.

A total of 14 people were arrested during this operation; 10 from Addu City, two from Male’ City and two from Guraidhoo. Police identified all the suspects as Maldivian men.

Criminal Court remanded five of them in custody pending the outcome of trial. They include a 20-year-old, 27-year-old, 30-year-old, 35-year-old, and 37-year-old.

Meanwhile, five others – an 18-year-old, two 33-year-olds, a 35-year-old, and a 46-year-old – were remanded in custody for 14 days. Four of them – a 19-year-old, two 27-year-olds, and a 28-year-old – were remanded in custody for 30 days.

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Officers smuggling telephones and drugs into prison are identified

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By: Fathimath Lauza

The Commissioner of Prisons (COP) has stated that an operation is being carried out against jail officers who are illegally getting into prisons and in any other case violating the law.

Ahmed stated that a major operation has been launched to stop these incidents. After extensive consultations with the police, an operation is being conducted against the incident and the officers involved have already been identified.

Ahmed stated that one of the biggest difficulties is getting enough evidence before taking action against an employee. Therefore, the identified officers have been targeted in the operation, he explained.

The Correctional Service is working hard to prevent the smuggling of telephones and drugs into prisons. However, this problem has not been resolved so far. This week, a prison officer was arrested with drugs for trying to smuggle them into the jail. , Ahmed stated such cases have been a prime problem since the beginning of the prisons in Maldives. He stated prison officials had been also involved. “I admit that there is a hand of officers. There are some officers who have been noticed. But you know that action cannot be taken against an employee because of suspicion.”

Ahmed stated many other efforts are being made to prevent the smuggling of telephones into prisons. He stated the problem should be prevented through technology. Ahmed stated he tried to use a jammer however that was not the most desirable solution. Therefore, some of the measures taken now consist of installing antennas in the prison region and a system to detect calls going through the prison, he stated.

“Before, we had to run through the device. Even if you inserted a single device and inserted 50 SIM cards, you could do whatever you wanted inside the jail without us seeing it.” Ahmed explained.

He stated work has been started however its going to take a long time to peer a complete result. These issues have been rooted for a long term and its going to take days for the results to be reached.

Ahmed stated it would not be easy to smuggle items into prisons based at the work done in recent years. The Commissioner of Prisons Ahmed Mohammed stated the measures taken against the crime will be strengthened

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