The Republic of Maldives consists of 1,190 islands (approximately 200 are inhabited) in the Indian Ocean, southwest of Sri Lanka. It is a presidential-parliamentary democracy and has a population of fewer than 325,000, with approximately 100,000 people residing in the capital city of Malé, and an estimated 100,000 foreign workers. Beautiful atolls, inhabited by over 1,100 species of fish and other sea life, attract hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. Tourism facilities are well developed on the resort islands.
U.S.-MALDIVES RELATIONS - The United States established diplomatic relations with Maldives in 1966 following its independence from the United Kingdom. Bilateral relations are friendly.
The United States has sought to support Maldives' ongoing democratic initiatives and economic development agenda and seeks to ensure that Maldives addresses its social and environmental problems.
Following the February 2012 transfer of power in Maldives, the United States has called on all Maldivian parties to chart a way forward that respects Maldivian democratic institutions, the rule of law, and the will of the Maldivian people.
The United States recognizes the importance of promoting security in the Indian Ocean. U.S. Naval vessels have regularly called at Maldives in recent years. Maldives has extended strong support to U.S. efforts to combat terrorism and terrorist financing.
The United States has no consular or diplomatic offices in Maldives. The U.S. Ambassador and many Embassy staff in Sri Lanka are accredited to Maldives and make periodic visits.