Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih is set to visit India next week to review the progress made in this wide-ranging partnership between the two countries.
During his India visit, Solih will meet President Droupadi Murmu and hold talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Speaking at a press briefing, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will also call on the Maldives President.
“Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih will pay an official visit to India from August 1-4. President Solih will be accompanied by high-level officials and a business delegation. During the visit, President Solih will meet the President of India and hold talks with the Prime Minister. External Affairs Minister will call on President Solih,” said Bagchi.
“Besides his official engagements in New Delhi, President Solih will be holding a discussion with an Indian business delegation. During his visit, he will visit Mumbai and participate in business events there,” he added.
The MEA spokesperson noted that the Maldives is India’s key neighbour in the Indian Ocean region and occupies a special place in the country’s Neighbourhood First policy.
“In recent years, the partnership has seen rapid growth in all areas of partnership and President Solih’s upcoming visit will provide an opportunity for the two leaders to review the progress made in this wide-ranging partnership and impart direction to the two sides that lent further momentum to this strong partnership that we have,” he said.
For India, the Maldives has always been a close and important maritime neighbour. Multifaceted ties between the two countries have strengthened despite the pandemic-related disruptions.
India’s “Neighborhood First” policy and Maldives’s “India First” policy work in tandem to tackle shared concerns and advance mutual interests.
Back in March, President Solih highlighted the positive role played by India in the country’s affairs in the last two years.
In a national address, Solih thanked the Indian government for its role in helping his country cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, including gifting vaccines.
Solih mentioned several friendly bilateral partners. However, he singled out New Delhi for assisting the Maldives’ COVID-19 response efforts.