Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrapped up his short visit to Maldives with a high-level meeting with new Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamad Solih. During their meeting, both leaders agreed on the importance of maintaining peace and security in the Indian Ocean and being mindful of each other’s concerns and aspirations for the stability of the region. The two leaders expressed their unwavering commitment and support for increased cooperation in combating terrorism both within the region and elsewhere.
President Solih, who took over as seventh President of Maldives this evening, briefed Prime Minister Modi on the dire economic situation facing the country as he takes office. The two leaders discussed ways in which India can continue development partnership, particularly to help the new government in meeting its pledges to the people of the Maldives. In particular, President Solih highlighted the pressing need for increased housing and infrastructure development as well as for establishing water and sewerage systems in the outlying islands.
Prime Minister Modi assured President Solih of India’s firm commitment in assisting the Maldives to achieve sustainable social and economic development. He also conveyed India’s readiness to extend help in every possible way and suggested that both sides should meet at the earliest to work out details as per requirements of the Maldives.
Mr Modi also welcomed the expanding opportunities for Indian companies to invest in the Maldives in different sectors for the mutual benefit of both countries. Recognizing that nationals of both countries travel extensively between the two countries, the leaders also agreed on the need for facilitating easier visa procedures.
Mr Solih welcomed and thanked Mr Modi for visiting the Maldives to participate in the presidential inauguration ceremony. Prime Minister thanked President Solih for the special gesture of inviting him to the Inauguration Ceremony. He also conveyed greetings and compliments from the people of India to the people of the Republic of Maldives on the consolidation of democracy, which is essential for peace, prosperity and stability.
The two leaders, while noting the resilience of the relations between India and the Maldives, expressed confidence in the renewal of the close bonds of cooperation and friendship with the election of Mr Solih as the President of the Maldives.
Prime Minister Modi extended an invitation to President Solih to make a State Visit to India at his earliest convenience. President Solih accepted the invitation with pleasure and informed that Minister of Foreign Affairs will make an official visit to India on the 26th of this month to hold further discussions and to prepare for the forthcoming Visit.
President Solih expressed the hope that Prime Minister Modi will make an official visit to the Maldives in the near future which he accepted. On the sidelines of swearing in ceremony, Mr Modi also interacted with former Maldivian Presidents Abdul Gayoom and Mohamed Nasheed who were seated next to him. Mr Modi also greeted former Srilankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga and other leaders who had gathered on the occasion.