President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has sent a message to the President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, His Excellency Gotabaya Rajapaksa, expressing his solidarity with Sri Lanka following news of the disastrous fire aboard the container vessel MV X-Press Pearl off the nation's coast.
The President's message reads as follows:
"I have been following the news of the container vessel MV X-Press Pearl, which caught fire off the coast of Sri Lanka last week, resulting in an unprecedented maritime and ecological disaster. I express my deepest sympathies to your Excellency, the Government and the people of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka as you face this challenge.
As Indian Ocean Island states, we rely heavily on the ocean for income, food and survival, and understand all too well the consequences of such disasters on our economies and societies. At this difficult time, the Government and the people of Maldives stand in solidarity with the Government and the people of Sri Lanka in your efforts to contain and combat the effects of this disaster.
I take this opportunity also to emphasize the strong bonds of friendship between the Maldives and the Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, which I am confident, will long endure."