US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday announced that the United States will open an embassy in the Maldives. Pompeo has held talks with the leaders of the Maldives strategically located in the Indian Ocean. The two countries signed a major defense cooperation agreement a few weeks ago. The services of the United States Embassy in Maldives are currently available from the United States Embassy in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
“ The Maldives have made great strides ”
Pompeo tweeted: ‘I am happy to announce our intention to open an embassy in Male. Since our diplomatic relations were established in 1966, we have seen that the Maldives has made great strides in supporting democratic institutions and we are proud to work with them on regional security issues.
The US State Department previously said Pompeo would visit Male and “reaffirm our close bilateral relations and advance our partnership on issues ranging from regional maritime security to the fight against terrorism.” Pompeo arrived here from India and Sri Lanka. He said after a conversation with the country’s leaders that he had had a “spectacular” meeting with the President of the Maldives, Ibrahim Mohammad Solih.
Pompeo said in a tweet after meeting President Solih: ‘I had a wonderful meeting with President Solih in Male. I made a historic announcement regarding our plan to open the American Embassy in the Maldives. We attach great importance to our friendship with the people of Maldives and look forward to taking our partnership to the next level.
Earlier on arriving here, Pompeo wrote that he was ‘delighted’ to travel to the Maldives. He said: “I am delighted to be the Prime Minister of Foreign Affairs to visit the Maldives for almost three decades. I look forward to strengthening the relationship between the United States and the Maldives and discussing our mutual interests in the independent, open and rules-based Indo-Pacific region.
The Maldives currently have diplomatic missions residing in the United Kingdom, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Japan and China. The United States and the Maldives signed a defense cooperation agreement in September amid the growing presence of the Chinese navy in the Indian Ocean.