India reiterates its support to Maldivian Foreign Minister's candidature for UNGA presidency

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Male, Feb 20 (PTI) India on Saturday reiterated its strong support to the candidature of the Maldives’ Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid for President of the 76th session of the UNGA next year, saying he is best equipped to preside over the General Assembly of 193 nations of the world.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, in his remarks at a joint press conference with his Maldivian counterpart Shahid, 58, praised his vast diplomatic experience and leadership qualities.

“In this context, I reiterate today India’s strong support to the candidature of Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid for President of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly next year.

“Foreign Minister Shahid, with his vast diplomatic experience and his leadership qualities is, in our view, the best equipped to preside over the General Assembly of 193 nations of the world. We will work together to make this a reality. We would really like to work with you during our membership of the United Nations Security Council for 2021-22,” Jaishankar said.

India began its two-year tenure as a non-permanent member of the powerful United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on January 1. In August, India is scheduled to serve as the president of the UNSC.

The 15-member Security Council has five permanent members - the US, the UK, France, Russia and China - and 10 non-permanent members.

In November last year, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla, on a visit here, said that the Maldives should play a more prominent role in the United Nations and reiterated its support to Shahid's candidature for the presidency of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly.

India has always been supportive of the Maldives in various multilateral fora, he had said. PTI CPS AKJ CPS