Diplomatic relations between the United States and the Maldives were established in 1966.
The United States is opening an embassy in the Maldives to strengthen economic and security cooperation, five decades after the two countries established diplomatic relations.
The move reflects “the continued development of US-Maldives relations and underscores the United States’ unwavering commitment to the Maldives and the Indo-Pacific region,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday after meetings with Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and foreign Minister Abdullah Shahid.
This decision is seen in the context of Washington’s desire to create a free and open Indo-Pacific region, limiting Beijing’s influence in the region. The United States currently does not have a Consulate or Embassy in the Maldives, but an American center operates in the capital.
The US Ambassador and Embassy staffs in Sri Lanka are accredited to the Maldives and regularly visit the archipelago.
On September 10, the United States and the Maldives signed a defense agreement aimed at “deepening interaction and cooperation” in the field of peace and security in the Indian Ocean, the state Department said. According to US officials, India, which has traditionally been skeptical of a foreign military presence near its borders, took the agreement positively.
In recent years, American naval vessels have regularly called at Maldivian ports. The country supports US efforts to combat terrorism and the financing of terrorism.
The United States has provided $ 2 million in aid to the Maldives to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic effects. Washington also promised to provide economic support to enhance the Maldives ‘ financial transparency, Maritime security, and the fight against terrorism.
The United States established diplomatic relations with the Maldives in 1966 after the archipelago gained independence from Britain.