Malé, 15 February 2022 (TDI): During a meeting organized this morning, at the Foreign Ministry of Maldives, the State Minister of Maldives, Ahmed Khaleel, was joined by Tariq Ahmad of Wimbledon to engage in bilateral talks.

Ahmad is the UK’s Minister of State for South and Central Asia, the UN, and the Commonwealth. At the same time, he also holds the position of Prime Minister’s Special Representative for Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict.


UK Minister Ahmed arrived in the Maldives, today in the morning, to embark on an official visit. Maldivian Minister Khaleel and other senior officials from the Ministry received him at the Velana International Airport. This is the first time a high-level visit from the UK has taken place in the Maldives, since 2018.

During the official exchange between the two State Ministers, Khaleel humbly welcomed his guest to the Maldivian Ministry. He soon followed that with a reiteration of Maldives’ dedication to cementing bilateral ties with the UK.

Khaleel expressed that the Government of Maldives prioritized collaboration with the UK on matters of shared interest. A symbiotic relationship was crucial for friendly relations, he added.

Bilateral Talks
UK State Minister Tariq Ahmad (left) in conversation with Maldivian State Minister for Foreign Affairs Ahmed Khaleel (right)

Following that, the two sides raised prospective opportunities for bilateral cooperation. They touched multifarious sectors, including counter-terrorism, tourism, climate change, defense, and fisheries. With reference to the last one, they discussed potentially eliminating export taxes for Maldivian Tuna to the UK.

In addition to that, both leaders stressed their commitment to accelerating cooperation on the international front, particularly through the Commonwealth.

Following this meeting, the UK State Minister plans to call on Mohamed Nasheed, President and Speaker of the People’s Majlis. He will also attend the Official Opening Ceremony of the British High Commission in Malé, which will take place later today.


Since 1965, the Maldives and the United Kingdom enjoy close, friendly, and mutually beneficial relations. The Maldivian High Commission in the UK mentioned that the country considers its relationship with the UK to be very important.

In 2019, both countries celebrated the 54th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. Queen Elizabeth II visited the islands on 13 March 1972, and other high-ranking officials from the UK have also visited as well.

The British Minister of State upon his arrival to the Maldives
The British Minister of State upon his arrival to the Maldives

Almost 100,000 Britons choose to travel to the Maldives each year to experience the countries’ natural beauty. The Commission also mentioned that British professors also volunteer to teach in Maldivian schools.

Many Maldivians travel to the United Kingdom for pleasure, and at any one time, roughly 200 Maldivians choose to reside in the UK to study in Britain’s world-renowned universities.

In 2019, the UK’s first resident High Commissioner to the Maldives presented her letter of credence to President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.