All praise be to God, Almighty اللهُ سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى The most Merciful and the most benevolent. Peace and blessings be upon Prophet مُحَمَّدُ رَسُوْلُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ his family and companions.
Your Excellency Matrek Abdullah Al-Ajalin Aldosari, the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the Republic of Maldives, Members of the Parliament, Ambassadors, distinguished guests, excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,
And a very good evening to you all.
It is a tremendous privilege and a great honour to participate in the celebration of the ninety-third National Day of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. On behalf of His Excellency President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, as well as the Government and the people of Maldives, I wish to convey our sincere felicitations and best wishes to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, His Royal Highness Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, and to the Saudi Government and our dear brothers and sisters in Saudi Arabia.
The enduring bilateral relations between the Maldives and Saudi Arabia, spanning more than four decades, is a remarkable connection based on mutual respect and trust. As two countries with entirely Muslim populations, our common values are deeply rooted in our close Islamic, cultural, and historical connections. Saudi Arabia holds a special significance in the hearts of every Maldivian citizen due to its status as the birthplace of Islam and the presence of the two Holy Harams.
The past few years have witnessed a further enhancement of our already strong bilateral ties. Guided by the strategic vision of our leaders, our relations have reached new heights and achieved significant milestones. I believe this is an opportune moment to highlight some of the noteworthy recent developments in this regard.
In 2023, the Saudi Government's decision to grant e-visas and on-arrival visas to Maldivians mark a significant milestone. This demonstrates the strong fraternal relations between our two countries, which will undoubtedly continue to thrive in the years ahead. Saudi Arabia's commitment to the Maldives is unmistakable, evident in the exceptional arrangements and warm hospitality extended to the Maldivian pilgrims, during the recent Hajj pilgrimage.
Moreover, the generous assistance and opportunities provided to the Maldives over the years by the leadership and the Government of Saudi Arabia, including assistance through the Saudi Fund for Development, are highly commendable and deeply appreciated by the Government and people of the Republic of the Maldives. The Saudi Fund for Development has been a key development partner for the Maldives, contributing to various sectors such as transportation, healthcare, water supply and sanitation, housing, and infrastructure.
Similarly, the generosity of His Majesty King Salman is evident throughout the Maldives, with numerous mosques built through His Majesty's kind assistance on various islands. In the capital city of Malé, the magnificent King Salman Mosque serves as a symbol of our enduring friendship, honouring the legacy of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud. In addition to these numerous gestures, we are grateful for the scholarship opportunities offered to Maldivian students. These opportunities have played a pivotal role in advancing the education and prospects of our young talents.
Celebrating the ninety-third anniversary of the unification of the Kingdoms of Hejaz and Nejd, which led to the formation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, is indeed a momentous occasion. In recent years, Saudi Arabia has undergone substantial transformations and advancements in its infrastructure, economy, education, healthcare, and technology sectors. The leadership and citizens of Saudi Arabia have exhibited unwavering dedication to realising the vision laid out by the nation's founding fathers, with a steadfast commitment to modernisation and development.
Saudi Arabia stands out as an exemplar in implementing policies geared towards realising the country's developmental aspirations. Vision 2030, the comprehensive roadmap drawn by His Royal Highness the Crown Prince, serves as a testament to what can be accomplished with visionary leadership and the determination of hardworking citizens. It serves as an exemplary model for other countries to glean insights from the Saudi experience, particularly in economic diversification and reform.
I have full confidence that Saudi Arabia will continue to prioritise the strengthening of our fraternal friendship. I take this opportunity to convey sincere thanks to Ambassador Matrek and his able team for their hard work and dedication to further enhancing Maldives-Saudi relations. I assure you of the steadfast commitment of President Solih's Government to further fortify the deep bonds of friendship between our two nations. The Maldives remains strongly dedicated to our collaboration and close friendship with Saudi Arabia on international matters of mutual concern, and we hold in high regard the Kingdom's crucial role in promoting Islamic solidarity worldwide.
This is the final time that I participate as the Vice President of the Republic of Maldives. I would also like to express my deep gratitude to your Excellency and especially to the Government of Saudi Arabia. I had the privilege and great honour of meeting the Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, during the pilgrimage. And we also discussed matters of concern and especially the environmental crisis that we are facing today.
I give a special thanks to the Excellency again for arranging my visit as a pilgrim to the peaceful land. The land that we all love; Saudi Arabia, in the last Hajj.
I pray for the continuous progress and prosperity of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and I once again extend my heartfelt congratulations to the Government and the people of Saudi Arabia on this auspicious occasion.
Thank you very much, Shukran Jazeelan.