While appealing for restraint in criticism and asking to not engage in negativity towards India, especially in the media, President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom reaffirmed that India is the Maldives' closest friend and ally.

President Yameen reiterated that his Administration would never entertain negative sentiments towards India, highlighting that Indian assistance formed an invaluable contribution to the Maldives — further adding that the government was currently working towards a free trade agreement between the Maldives and India.

Touching on the recent free trade agreement between the Maldives and China, President Yameen stated that it would bring several opportunities to the country.

The President remarked on the entrepreneurial spirit of Velidhoo; that he was assured the island was one that would make use of opportunities for development.

During today’s visit, President Yameen inaugurated the Velidhoo Island harbor.

The President is currently on a 3 day visit to South Miladhunmadulu Atoll, Faadhippolhu Atoll, and South Maalhosmadulu Atoll.