EAM Jaishankar Visit to the Maldives: New Pacts Are Underway

Image source: Twitter

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar arrived in the Maldivian capital on Saturday on a two-day visit during which he met President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, held talks with several other political leaders in the country and reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral ties. EAM Jaishankar arrived in Male on the first leg of his two-nation tour that will likewise take him to Mauritius.

He was received at Velana International Airport by his Maldivian partner 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 visited the Maldives at the invitation of his Maldivian counterpart, Abdullah Shahid. It is his second official visit to the Maldives, following his visit to attend the fifth Indian Ocean Conference in 2019. A year ago saw, Foreign secretary Harsh Shringla visiting the country, both foreign ministers having a videoconference, and a telephonic conversation between PM Modi and President Solih.

EAM Jaishankar, during his visit, inaugurated some projects with Indian grant assistance and witnessed the trading of several arrangements and MoUs between the two nations. “The External Affairs Minister’s visit is a declaration to the significance that India appends to its nearby and cordial relations with the Maldives and Mauritius and is relied upon to loan further momentum for meaningful collaboration and robust people-to-people ties,” the Ministry of External Affairs said in New Delhi on Thursday.

In the Maldives, Jaishankar met Presiden Solih and had substantive discussions with the ministers of foreign affairs, defence, finance, economic development and planning and infrastructure.

Jaishankar also met Speaker Mohamed Nasheed and other political pioneers. During this visit, EAM has audited the whole array of India-Maldives respective ties and had conversations on the continuous COVID situation, including India’s continued assistance to the Maldives for its post-Covid monetary recuperation.

Five pacts were signed between India and Maldives on Saturday, which was:

1. Amendatory Agreement to repurpose an older EXIM Bank of India Line of Credit of USD 25 million for Road Devt

2. Letter of Intent between EXIM Bank and local authorities for financing a housing project of 2000 units in Hulhumale

3. MoU on grant funding USD 0.5 million for a fish processing plant in Kendhikulhudhoo in the northern Maldives

4. MoU on capacity building and exchange of content and expertise between Prasar Bharati and Public State Media, Maldives

5. MoU on sustainable urban development between MoHUA and Ministry of national planning, housing and infrastructure, Maldives

India will be developing a Maldives National Defence Force Coast Guard Harbour at Sifvaru, Uthuru Thilafalhu (UTF), the pact for which was signed on Sunday.

EAM Jaishankar even stated that both Maldives and Mauritius are India’s key maritime neighbours in the Indian Ocean Region and involve an extraordinary spot in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of ‘SAGAR’ (Security and Growth for All in the Region).

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Tanaya Narzari

Tanaya Narzari is a Former Journalism Intern at The Kootneeti

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