Remarks by Ambassador Alaina B. Teplitz Roadha Veellun in Maldives

May 12, 2019

As prepared.

Ladies and gentlemen, assalaamu alaykum and Ramadan Mubarak.

The United States is continuing its tradition of celebrating Roadha Veellun with our friends and partners in Maldives. On behalf of the U.S. Embassy, including the many members of our team who are here tonight and seated among you, we welcome all of our friends and distinguished guests.

Ramadan is a month of self-discipline and reflection, an opportunity to honor traditions and our shared values of family, community, peace, and forgiveness. It is also a time of spiritual renewal and a reminder of one’s duty to our fellow human beings — to serve one another and lift up the less fortunate. These are, and should be, values common to us all, no matter our ethnicity, religion, nationality, or politics. Such notions are important now more than ever as we grieve for those lost in the Easter bombings in Sri Lanka last month.  We must unite in condemning these acts of terror and the extremism and ignorance of a few individuals who do not represent Islam, or any faith.

Having this Roadha Veellun with you is a chance for the United States to reaffirm our relationship with Maldives, a bilateral partnership which has never been stronger. We are working with Maldivian national and local governments, civil society organizations, and businesses throughout the archipelago to advance justice sector reform; promote good governance, rule of law, and transparent public financial management; combat corruption; strengthen civil society; protect the environment; and make quality education accessible to all Maldivians.

This year, the United States signed a multi-million dollar development agreement with Maldives to drive inclusive and sustainable development, we announced $7 million in funding for maritime security, and we re-affirmed our Fulbright Academic Exchange Program to promote mutual understanding between our two countries, among other commitments. Our friendship is reinforced by visits like my trip today, and the dozens of other trips my teams and I have made to Maldives, and that your compatriots have made to the United States. Looking to the future, we look forward to working with Maldives to re-open the Maldivian Embassy in Washington D.C., and to deepening our bilateral ties.

The United States greatly appreciates the collaboration Maldives has offered and the firm commitment it has demonstrated in such a short period of time and pledges to continue work to work alongside you to achieve our common goals.

Both our countries place a high priority on peace, prosperity, stability, freedom, and human rights across the Indo Pacific region. We can think of no better partner in this endeavor than Maldives.

I thank you once again for allowing us to break fast with you. Ramadan is a time for the heart and soul. Let us enjoy the evening together. Shukuriya, Thank You.