MALÉ, Maldives - President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, who is currently in the United Kingdom to attend King Charles's coronation ceremony, has requested a one-on-one meeting with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. However, the British government has yet to respond to the request, leaving the potential outcome uncertain.
This is not the first time President Solih's attempts to engage with UK leaders have come under scrutiny. In 2021, during the COP summit in Glasgow, Scotland, President Solih requested a meeting with then-British PM Boris Johnson, but was unable to secure one. Photos of Solih and Johnson were later shared by the government, but these turned out to be from a mere photo session rather than an actual meeting.
Last year, President Solih visited Qatar to attend the World Cup, claiming that he was there at the invitation of the Qatari Emir. Despite this, Solih returned to the Maldives without ever meeting the Emir. Such incidents have raised doubts about the President's claims regarding the purpose and outcomes of his foreign travels.
President Solih has spent millions of dollars on international trips, stating that he is meeting world leaders to secure much-needed assistance for the Maldives. However, the country has not received any significant aid or support from other nations thus far, leading to questions about the effectiveness of these costly trips.
The President's recent meeting request with UK PM Rishi Sunak and the potential outcome will be closely monitored to determine whether these high-priced international visits are yielding any tangible benefits for the nation.