Male, February 20
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar arrived here in the Maldivian capital on Saturday on a two-day visit during which he will call on President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, hold talks with several other political leaders in the country and review the entire gamut of bilateral ties.
Jaishankar arrived here on the first leg of his two-nation tour that will also take him to Mauritius.
He was received at Velana International Airport by his Maldivian counterpart Abdulla Shahid, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Ahmed Khaleel, Foreign Secretary Abdul Gafoor Mohamed and Maldivian High Commissioner to India Hussain Niyaz, Maldivian media reported.
Jaishankar is visiting the Maldives at the invitation of Shahid. It is his second official visit to the Maldives, following his visit to attend the 5th Indian Ocean Conference in 2019.
According to the Maldivian Foreign Ministry, Jaishankar, during his visit, will inaugurate some projects undertaken with Indian grant assistance and witness the exchange of several agreements and MoUs between the two countries.
“The External Affairs Minister’s visit is testimony to the importance that India attaches to its close and friendly relations with the Maldives and Mauritius and is expected to lend further momentum to substantive cooperation and robust people-to-people ties,” the Ministry of External Affairs said in New Delhi on Thursday.
In the Maldives, Jaishankar will call on President Solih and have substantive discussions with the ministers for foreign affairs, defence, finance, economic development and planning and infrastructure, the MEA said in a statement.
Jaishankar will also call on Speaker Mohamed Nasheed and meet with other political leaders.
“During this visit, EAM will review the entire gamut of our bilateral ties as well as the progress of ongoing bilateral projects and hold discussions on the ongoing COVID situation, including India’s continued assistance to the Maldives for its post-Covid economic recovery,” the MEA said.
It said both the Maldives and Mauritius are India’s key maritime neighbours in the Indian Ocean Region and occupy a special place in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of ‘SAGAR’ (Security and Growth for All in the Region).