US Senator Chris Van Hollen Reaffirms Stronger Ties with Maldives
MALE — In a brief yet impactful visit to the Maldives, United States Senator Chris Van Hollen held a round-table discussion with local journalists, underlining the importance of enhanced relations between the two nations.
At the heart of the discussion, Senator Van Hollen emphasized the United States' commitment to fortifying its ties with the Maldives. This includes not only expanding economic relations but also fostering greater interpersonal connections between their respective citizens.
One significant point of the dialogue revolved around maritime security. "US-Maldives relations concerning maritime security are crucial, and we aim to deepen these ties," stated Senator Van Hollen. He went on to express the United States' intent to collaborate closely with the Maldivian government, particularly in protecting its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). "Be it safeguarding fisheries from external poaching threats or combatting drug smuggling, we are ready and eager to continue our cooperative efforts with the Maldives," he added.
The senator's visit resonated with the overarching American vision of maintaining a free and open Indian Ocean, where every nation's sovereignty is recognized and upheld.
Additionally, Senator Van Hollen revealed that the US is gearing up to provide the Maldives with the necessary support in enhancing its maritime domain awareness.
An intimate touch to his discourse, Senator Van Hollen reminisced about his previous visit to the Maldives, a trip he undertook 50 years ago with his father. At the time, his father held the position of the ambassador to both the Maldives and Sri Lanka and had visited the Maldives to present his credentials to the then Prime Minister, Zaki.
Signifying the increasing importance of the US-Maldives relationship, the discussion was also graced by the presence of the newly appointed US Ambassador to the Maldives, Mr. Hugo Yue-Ho Yon. A historic appointment, Mr. Yon stands as the first-ever dedicated ambassador from the US to the Maldives. This move departs from past practice where ambassadors were concurrently accredited to both the Maldives and Sri Lanka.