Friday, November 27, 2009

Prince Andrew the Duke of York concludes his unofficial visit to the Maldives

His Royal Highness Prince Andrew the Duke of York has concluded his unofficial visit to the Maldives. During his visit, Prince Andrew visited Gan and Hithadhoo of Addu Atoll.

Prince Andrew arrived in the Maldives on 17 November. On his arrival in Gan International Airport, he was greeted by President Mohamed Nasheed, First Lady Madam Laila Ali, Vice President Dr Mohamed Waheed and Minister of State for Home Affairs in South Province Mohamed Naseer. The Prince was also given an honour guard by Maldives National Defence Force Southern Command, on his arrival.

During his visit, on 18 November, the Duke of York laid a wreath at the War Memorial in Gan, in remembrance of the servicemen who are buried on Addu Atoll.

Gan of Addu Atoll was a British Royal Air Force Base during the Second World War.

On his visit to Hithadhoo on 18 November, Prince Andrew was presented the Ceremonial Key to the South Province. The Key to the South Province was presented to Prince Andrew by Minister of State for Home Affairs in South Province Mohamed Naseer at a cultural ceremony held at the South Province Office.

Speaking at the function, President Nasheed said there were a number of lessons to be learned from the historical relations between Addu Atoll and Britain for the development of the Maldives. He thanked His Royal Highness for visiting Addu Atoll and attending the ceremonies in his honour.

Prince Andrew also spoke at the cultural ceremony. He said, visiting the South Province gave him great pleasure due to its close relations over the years with the United Kingdom.

Nothing that this was his third visit to the Maldives, Prince Andrew said seeing how the Maldives was developing and facing the environmental prospects, and learning how the Maldivians were dealing with issues of living in the middle of the Indian Ocean, “is truly invigorating”.

Prince Andrew reiterated his hope that through his work and the work he does for the United Kingdom, the Maldives and the United Kingdom “will continue to have a close relationship”.

Prince Andrew added, this relationship would help the Maldives continue its development at pace.

Following the Key presentation ceremony, the Duke of York visited the Eedhigili Kilhi conservation area, a natural lake in Hithadhoo which provides a habitat for a number of birds and other living creatures.

Before concluding his visit to Gan and Hithadhoo, the Duke of York planted a tree in the area of the former Royal Air Force Base in Gan.


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