The tiny island of Maldives will seek Saudi investments and partnerships in energy, tourism, transport and Islamic affairs, besides a soft loan facility of $300 million, during talks with Crown Prince Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense, who arrives in the smallest Asian country on Monday.
Crown Prince Salman will hold official talks in Male.
“The crown prince’s trip to the Maldives comes in response to the invitation extended by Maldivian President Abdullah Yameen Abdul Gayoom,” Maldivian Ambassador Adam Hassan told Arab News on Saturday. The crown prince, who flies to the Maldives after wrapping up his six-day visit to Japan, granted $10,000 to each Saudi scholarship student currently studying in Japan.
Crown Prince Salman reportedly gave students additional funds on Saturday to cope with the high cost of living in Tokyo and other Japanese cities. The crown prince will spend a few days on the island before traveling to India for an official visit from Feb. 26-28.
Ambassador Hassan said that the visit had added significance keeping in view the progressively growing relations between the Kingdom and Maldives. He said Maldives, a Muslim country in Asia lying in the Indian Ocean, had been a member of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). “Both nations share common approaches on a whole range of bilateral, regional and international issues,” said the envoy.
Maldives was also elected to the UN Human Rights Council together with Saudi Arabia in November of last year.
Discussions about credit facilities aimed at settling the island’s budgetary requirements began last year during the Maldivian presidential visit to Riyadh.
Source : http://www.arabnews.com/print/529971