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Foreign Secretary Ahmed Latheef


Biography

Ambassador Ahmed Latheef is currently the Foreign Secretary of the Government of Maldives; a post he was appointed to on 1 May 2022. Prior to this, he held the post of Ambassador of Maldives in Germany, (February 2019 – April 2022) concurrently accredited to Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, and Norway.

Ambassador Latheef began his Foreign Service career in 1981 as an Assistant Undersecretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He completed Foreign Service training in India with the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) Officers in 1982 and had further education and training in Berlin, Germany in 1989.

His career in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, since 1983 was largely in bilateral and multilateral cooperation, more particularly dealing with South Asian regional cooperation. Since its formative days, he worked in the SAARC Division, and had attended all major SAARC meetings during 1985 to 1997. He was a key member of the Organizing Committee of the Fifth SAARC Summit held in Male’ in 1990 and played an equally important role during the Ninth SAARC Summit held in Male’ in 1997 in his capacity as the Director from Maldives at the SAARC Secretariat. During this period, he also attended meetings of the UN, Non-Aligned Movement and the Commonwealth.

Ambassador Latheef served at the SAARC Secretariat in Kathmandu, Nepal from 1993 to 1997 as the Director from the Maldives, and after his return to Maldives he headed the Department of External Resources of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 1997 to 2003 as the Director-General of External Resources. During this period, he was responsible for mobilizing and coordinating all bilateral assistance to the Maldives and multilateral assistance from UN agencies. Later he also worked at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as Director-General, Foreign Relations from 2003-2004.

Ambassador Latheef had held the post of Alternate Governor from Maldives to the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) from 1998 to 2003 during which period he had attended all the Annual General Meetings of the Board of Governors of the Bank.

Ambassador Latheef had played a significant and pioneering role in establishing the first resident mission of Maldives in India when he was posted as the Deputy High Commissioner of Maldives from November 2004 to August 2007. During this period, he had contributed greatly to consolidate the close and friendly relations between India and the Maldives.

After completing his three-year term in New Delhi, Ambassador Latheef moved to China in 2007 to open the Maldivian Embassy in Beijing and served as the first Ambassador of his country in Beijing for five years. Ambassador Latheef’s persistent efforts during this period contributed to increasing the tourist arrivals in the Maldives from China and placing the country on the top of the list, outnumbering the traditionally strong European visitors.

Ambassador Latheef returned to Male’ after completing his term of office in February 2012. Since then, he had devoted himself to promoting sports in the Maldives as the President of the Table Tennis Association of Maldives from 2012- 2016 and later as the Vice President of the Maldives Olympic Committee, a post he held from 2017 to July 2021, and the Regional Vice President (SA) of the Asian Table Tennis Union (2017 – September 2021).

On 1st October 2018, Ambassador Latheef was appointed as the Director-General of Transition, upon the recommendation of President-elect, Hon. Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, charged with the responsibility of establishing the Office of the President-elect and ensuring the smooth transition prior to the inauguration of the President on 17 November 2018.

Ambassador Latheef was appointed as the Ambassador of Maldives to the Federal Republic of Germany on 20th January 2019 and had presented his Letters of Credence to H. E. Frank-Walter Steinmeier, President of the Federal Republic of Germany on 27 February 2019.

Ambassador Latheef is an avid sportsman, who in his youth, was selected for the first ever Maldives Table Tennis team that represented the country in an international tournament in 1973 in Peking, PRC. Between 1973 and 1981, he played for his country in several international tournaments, in many instances as the captain of his team. He was the captain of the team that won the Bronze medal at the First Indian Ocean Island Games in 1979, the first table tennis medal for the country. He also won three national singles titles and several doubles titles during his illustrious career as a national TT player. Lately he was more active as a Veteran player involved in promoting the sport at the national and regional level. Currently he holds the title of the Berlin Veterans Table Tennis Champion in his age group.

In addition to being a TT player, Latheef is also a talented tennis player, and holds the distinction of being the first Maldivian to win an international tennis trophy by winning the All Nepal Veterans Tennis Championship in 1996. He is also a gifted cricketer who has represented his country in the 1980s.
On 26th December 2020, Ambassador Latheef received the prestigious “National Award of Honour” from H. E. Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, President of the Maldives, for his outstanding contribution to Sports in the Maldives.

Ambassador Latheef was born on 14 October 1955 and is married to Fazeena Ahmed Didi. They are blessed with two children and three grandchildren.


Role

Foreign Secretary