Broken promises and empty agreements

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The State Trading Organization (STO) clarified that despite President Muizzu’s claims, no agreements have been made with other countries to import essential food items into the Maldives. Yoosuf Shah, STO’s Corporate Branding Officer, emphasized that they continue to import staples solely under a trade agreement with India. Shah stated, “We have a trade agreement with India for staple food items. There are no such agreements with any other country.”

Contrary to President Muizzu’s statements following his visit to China, where he claimed agreements were signed with Türkiye for staple food imports, Shah reiterated that no such agreements exist. Muizzu had announced, “We’ve secured an agreement with Türkiye for rice, sugar, flour, and other essentials, enough to cover a year’s supply plus an extra 10 percent.” However, Shah clarified that no such agreement had been signed.

Muizzu had also announced the imminent arrival of flour shipments from Türkiye in February, but Shah’s statement contradicts this claim. Moreover, Muizzu had stated that agreements were made with various countries for rice, sugar, onions, eggs, and potatoes import, but Shah made it clear that no such agreements were in place.

The STO denies President Muizzu’s claims of signing agreements with other countries for staple food imports, affirming that their sole agreement for such imports remains with India.