Improving relations between Israel and the Maldives include three signed agreements in the fields of health, education and tourism.
Communicated by MFA Spokesman’s Bureau
The foreign minister of the Republic of Maldives, Mr. Ahmed Naseem, is visiting Israel from 16-20 May 2011. This is the first visit to Israel by a Maldive official on the level of foreign minister. During his visit, FM Naseem will meet with President Shimon Peres and have dinner with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Avigdor Liberman. The Maldive foreign minister will lay a wreath at Yad Vashem and visit other sites throughout Israel. He will also meet with officials of the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah.
Ahmed Naseem played a key role in bringing democracy to the Maldive Islands. He was imprisoned by the former regime for his activities.
Israel and the Republic of Maldives have enjoyed diplomatic relations since 1965 (Israel was the third state to recognize the Muslim island nation and its ambassador was the first to present his credentials to the president of the Maldives). Relations were suspended in 1974.
Relations began to improve at the beginning of the 1990’s. The present government maintains relations of appreciation and friendship with Israel; the two states have signed three agreements in the fields of health, tourism and education.
In 2010 a delegation of eye doctors from the Israeli humanitarian aid organization Eye from Zion visited the Maldives and performed eye operations in two locations in the islands. The delegation was coordinated and partially funded by Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation (MASHAV, a department of the Israeli Foreign Ministry).
Israeli tourists can visit the Maldives without a visa.