Saturday, September 1, 2007

US to open embassy in Maldives

The United States will open an embassy in the tiny island republic of Maldives, its ambassador to the country Robert Blake said on Wednesday.

Blake told reporters at Male International Airport that arrangements are underway to have the embassy opened but did not give a specific date when the embassy will be inaugurated.

At Tuesday's ceremony to launch the United States' Virtual Presence Post in Maldives, Blake said that the embassy will have an American official and two Maldivian staff.

Blake said that the presence of an embassy in the tiny Indian Ocean island republic will help strengthen bilateral ties, facilitate Maldives' students to pursue higher education in American institutions, and provide the opportunity for multicultural exchanges as America is a diverse and dynamic multicultural society.

USAID has now contracted a company to set up two water plants, one in Lhaviyani atoll Naifaru island, the other in Hinnavaru in the same atoll. The US embassy said that each of these plants have a capacity to produce 30,000 liters of water a day.

The project is estimated to cost Rf24.41 million (about US$1.9 million) and the Singaporean contractor has to complete the project within 180 days.

Source: Haveeru

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