Foreign Secretary Abdul Ghafoor Mohamed held bilateral engagements, today, with senior officials from the European Union and Belgium Government.
The Foreign Secretary held a meeting this morning with the Director in Charge of Directorate C at Directorate-General for Trade Ms. Ewa Synowiec and discussed avenues for further strengthening trade cooperation between the Maldives and the European Union. Further discussions were held regarding elimination of tariff on Maldivian tuna exports to the European Union.
Foreign Secretary Ghafoor also met with Head of Unit at Directorate-General for International Partnerships, Mr. Mario Ronconi, and discussed enhancing the Maldives-European Union partnership and explored the avenues for increasing investment from the European Union, in the Maldives. Foreign Secretary Ghafoor and Head of Unit Ronconi also discussed future cooperation between the Maldives and the European Union in economic and social development.
The Foreign Secretary held a meeting this afternoon with Director General of Directorate-General of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Ms. Charlina Vitcheva and discussed enhancing cooperation between the Maldives and the European Union in conserving marine resources and the oceans. Further discussions included cooperation at the multilateral fora in areas of mutual concern regarding marine resources, fisheries and the oceans.
Foreign Secretary Ghafoor met with Deputy Secretary General of European External Action Service, Ms. Helena König, at the European External Action Service Office, and discussed avenues for strengthening cooperation between the Maldives and the European Union in areas such as trade, economic development, and tourism cooperation.
Discussions also included obtaining free Schengen visa for Maldivians and starting negotiations for a Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between the Maldives and the European Union.
Foreign Secretary Ghafoor met the Acting Director General for Bilateral Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belgium, Mr. Jeroen Cooreman, this evening, and discussed the avenues for enhancing the bilateral ties between the Maldives and Belgium and discussed cooperation at various fora in issues of mutual concern for the Maldives and Belgium.
Foreign Secretary Ghafoor was accompanied by Secretary, Multilateral Dr. Hala Hameed, Ambassador of the Maldives to Belgium and the European Union, Hassan Sobir, Deputy Minister of Economic Development Riyaz Mansoor, Joint Secretary, Shiuneen Rasheed, Assistant Director at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hussain Azhaan Mohamed Hussain, and Assistant Director at the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Technology, Mariyam Anaa Hassan.
Foreign Secretary Abdul Ghafoor Mohamed is visiting Belgium to co-chair the Second Senior Officials Meeting between the Maldives and the European Union. The Maldives delegation participating in this meeting includes senior officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the President's Office, Maldives Police Service, Ministry of Economic Development, National Counter Terrorism Centre, and Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Technology. The Second Senior Officials Meeting will be held on 10 September 2021 in Brussels, Belgium.