Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid stated, on Saturday, that the first visit to China since President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih took office, is scheduled for June.
In an interview given to local media Mihaaru, Minister Shahid stated that he will visit China during the month of Shawwal after the holy month of Ramadan concludes.
When questioned why a visit to China was scheduled so late when it was a country that provided various aid and loans to the Maldives, the minister stated that the Maldives requested a feasible date from China at the very beginning of the new administration.
However, according to Minister Shahid, the trip was delayed due to the timing coinciding with various meetings being held within the ruling Communist Party, as well as China’s spring festival.
“China just started holding meetings with foreign countries. Ramadan is here when the meetings started. I have other travel plans during the month of Ramadan. Therefore, I’ll be visiting China at a time it is feasible for both parties”, Shahid said.
Previously, Minister of Finance Ibrahim Ameer stated that the government will hold discussions with China to reduce the interest rates of the loans granted by China, as well as devise a more convenient method to repay the loans.
However, the Chinese Ambassador to Maldives Zhang Lizhong stated in a press conference last Monday that China issued loans with feasible terms to the Maldives.
According to the ambassador, China issued loans for development projects that generate revenue. Despite this statement, the ambassador invited further discussion on the matter during the foreign minister’s state trip to China.
Minister Shahid assured that a solution will be reached, adding that China acts in the best interests of Maldives.
“We will get full cooperation by the Chinese government to set the acts of the previous administration right”, the foreign minister asserted.
“I believe that any decision reached should be for the betterment of the country. Whether it is China or another government, they will advocate for the most beneficial path for their country. I will always advocate for what’s best for the Maldivian people and Maldives.”
Minister Shahid stated that discussions regarding additional aid and other investments will take place during the China visit.
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