President Solih Honors Long-serving Diplomats Khaleel and Latheef with Inaugural Most Distinguished Foreign Service Medal

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PUBLISHED 13 November 2023

In a momentous ceremony held at the President's Office on Monday, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih conferred the inaugural Most Distinguished Foreign Service Medal upon State Foreign Minister Ahmed Khaleel and Foreign Secretary Ahmed Latheef, both of whom are stepping down after an extensive period of service in the foreign domain.

The prestigious award, comprising a medal, a plaque, and a certificate, was presented to acknowledge the exceptional contributions of Khaleel and Latheef to the nation's foreign service. Their dedication to upholding the highest interests of the Maldives, fostering international relations, and advancing the country's diplomatic efforts has left an indelible mark on the nation's global standing.

Ahmed Khaleel's Illustrious Career:

With over 41 years of dedicated service in the foreign service, Ahmed Khaleel stands out as one of the few individuals who has seamlessly navigated through various roles, from the most ordinary to the highest echelons. Khaleel commenced his journey in the Maldivian foreign service on December 22, 1981, serving initially as the English Secretary for the Department of Immigration and Emigration.

His remarkable career includes a pivotal 17-year tenure at the Permanent Mission of the Republic of the Maldives to the United Nations in New York and a seven-year term as the Ambassador of the Maldives to Japan. His exemplary service culminated in his appointment as the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs on November 22, 2018.


Ahmed Latheef's Impactful Legacy:

Foreign Secretary Ahmed Latheef, the recipient of the Most Distinguished Foreign Service Medal, commenced his foreign service journey on November 26, 1981, as an Assistant Undersecretary at the then Ministry of External Affairs. Over the years, Latheef played a pivotal role in strengthening the Maldives' diplomatic ties with other nations, international organizations, and regional groups, notably the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).

Latheef's significant contributions extend to his instrumental role in the creation of SAARC and his service as the Maldives' Director of the SAARC Secretariat. He has held various key positions, including Director General, Assistant Executive Director, and Executive Director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. His diplomatic assignments also include serving as the Deputy High Commissioner of the High Commission in New Delhi, India, and the first Maldivian Ambassador to China.


Recognition of Exceptional Service:

President Solih's decision to confer the Most Distinguished Foreign Service Medal on Khaleel and Latheef underscores their tireless efforts to advance the nation's interests, fortify international ties, and contribute to the development of the foreign service in the Maldives. The recognition also extends to their invaluable role in facilitating assistance and cooperation with various associations and organizations, as well as their dedication to providing foreign service-related support to the citizens of the Maldives.