Top US diplomat Lu headed to Maldives to advance opening of embassy

US Assistant Secretary of State Donald Lu. (Photo/Bektur Stamkulov)

The US’ Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, Donald Lu is set to travel to the Maldives this starting week.

In a statement on Friday, the US State Department said that Lu will travel to India and Maldives from January 26-31.

He began his trip with a stop in India to attend the India-US Forum in New Delhi.

According to the US State Department, Lu is leading a delegation of US government officials that includes Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources, Geoffrey R. Pyatt.

While in New Delhi, the delegation will engage with Indian government officials and members of the private sector, academia, and media to discuss and enhance opportunities for partnership between the US and India.

The delegation will next travel to Maldives, where they will meet with senior Maldivian officials.

According to the US State Department, the main focus of the visit is to “build US-Maldives cooperation and to advance the establishment of a permanent US embassy space in Male.”

 The delegation will also engage with members of civil society and higher education officials.

Maldives and the US established official diplomatic relations in 1965.

The Maldives opened an embassy in Washington DC in 2007, before shutting it down in 2008.

It was reopened in June 2023, in a move to strengthen relations between the two countries.

A month later, the US appointed Hugo Hue-Ho Yon, as the first US resident ambassador to the Maldives.

The Maldives and US have also been engaged in talks to open a permanent US embassy in Male’.