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Maldives, Thailand working to ‘formalise’ visa waiver arrangement

The Maldives is working on “formalising” a visa waiver agreement with Thailand.

Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid, who is currently in Buenos Aires, Argentina to attend the High-Level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation (BAPA+40), has been holding various side meetings with international delegations.

As such, the minister met with Thailand delegation on Thursday, and “discussed on formalising visa waiver arrangement between both the countries.”

“Thailand is one of the most important countries for Maldives’ business and we host a large number of Thai investments,” noted Shahid.

While the Maldives recently signed a new visa agreement with India- which came into effect earlier this month- Thailand last year decided to waive the $83 visa-on-arrival fee for tourists from 20 countries, including the Maldives, for 60 days, to “lift tourism slump.”

Also on Thursday, Minister Shahid met with the head of the South African delegation at the UN conference, as well as President Kersti Kaljulaid of Estonia.

During his meeting with the South African official, both parties discussed on Maldives’ decision to open an Embassy in Pretoria which will be the country’s “first diplomatic presence in the African continent.”

While the South African official expressed “appreciation” over Maldives’ decision, Minister Shahid said that this is “a sign of importance we place on the bilateral relationship.”

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih had, during his presidential address at the inaugural sitting of parliament in February, announced the decision to open embassies in Pretoria, US capital Washington and Russia.

Minister Shahid and President Kaljulaid discussed the challenges faces by small states and agreed that small states “need to step up advocacy for stronger actions against the threats of climate changes.”

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Source URL: Google News

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