Male: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday attended the celebrations of 52nd Independence Day of Maldives as a chief guest at the National Stadium Male.
The premier, along with First Lady Kulsoom Nawaz, arrived on Wednesday at the National Stadium Male to attend the grand ceremony held to celebrate ‘Maldives Independence Day’.
Smartly dressed contingents of the Maldivian armed forces presented a salute to the prime minister while a military band played melodious tunes. The national anthems of both countries were also played.
Schoolchildren presented cultural and musical performances.
Addressing a joint news conference along with Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom in Male, Sharif said Pakistan is eager to strengthen its relations with Maldives in all fields of mutual interest as Pakistan lauded its vision to establish peace in the region. He further said that Maldives and Pakistan are on the same page to cope with future challenges.
In his address at the occasion, the prime minister said India has harmed South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and undermined the spirit of the regional forum.
He said Pakistan is ready to extend all possible cooperation to Maldives for welfare and development of its people.
The prime minister will also hold official talks with the Maldivian president during his stay in the state, which is also a SAARC member of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).
It is understood that the future of SAARC would also come up for discussion besides mutual cooperation of the two ‘brotherly countries’.
A number of memoranda of understanding and agreements are also expected to be signed during the visit for cooperation in various fields.
Earlier in a statement, the Foreign Office reminded that diplomatic relations with Maldives, established on July 26, 1966, had grown from strength to strength. Both the countries closely coordinate with each other at regional and international forums on issues of mutual importance.
Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz is accompanying the prime minister.