The Maldives and the European Union (EU) engaged in discussions regarding the potential implementation of visa-free travel for Maldivian nationals to EU member states during the 4th Maldives-EU Senior Officials Meeting. The meeting, held in Brussels, aimed to foster stronger ties and enhance connectivity between the Maldives and the EU.
Recognizing the significance of the request, the EU confirmed that the matter of visa-free travel would be duly addressed during the next review of visa lists. This development marks a positive step towards facilitating smoother travel for Maldivians to EU member states, fostering closer people-to-people exchanges and fostering economic and cultural ties.
The meeting also served as an opportune moment to reaffirm the strong bilateral relations between the Maldives and the EU, coinciding with the celebration of the 40th anniversary of their diplomatic ties. Both parties expressed their commitment to deepening their mutually beneficial cooperation, which is firmly grounded in shared values and a shared dedication to upholding the principles enshrined in the United Nations (UN) Charter and international law.
Under the leadership of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, the Maldives has witnessed a significant increase in its engagement with the international community. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been actively pursuing avenues to enable visa-free travel for Maldivian citizens to multiple countries, thereby fostering greater ease and accessibility for Maldivian passport holders. In fact, the Maldivian passport has already earned recognition as the most powerful passport in the region, according to the Henley Passport Index, and efforts are underway to further strengthen its standing on a global scale by facilitating travel arrangements with various nations.
The discussions held at the 4th Maldives-EU Senior Officials Meeting signify the dedication of both parties to strengthening their relationship and promoting enhanced connectivity. As the dialogue continues, it is expected to yield concrete outcomes that will benefit citizens, foster economic growth, and deepen cultural understanding between the Maldives and EU member states.