India Maldives Ink Pacts to Boost Relations

Foreign Affairs

New Delhi: Indo-Maldives relations got a massive boost with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih launching the “Greater Male connectivity projects in the Maldives” and also having pacts in areas like cyber security, disaster management, and police infrastructure development.

The Male connectivity projects will be built under India’s US$ 100 million grant and US$ 400 million

Line of Credit. India also extended a US$ 100 million line of credit for development projects in the Maldives.

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Addressing media persons, Solih said the “Maldives-India relationship goes beyond diplomacy. This visit is an affirmation of the close bond between our two countries.”

Both countries exchanged six documents on areas like cyber security, disaster management, and police infrastructure development. Prime Minister Modi and the Maldivian President were present at the exchange of agreements.

Ahead of the exchange, a video was shown about the Greater Male Connectivity project and other developmental projects that are making the India-Maldives bond stronger.

During the joint press statement with the Maldivian President, Prime Minister Modi said, “We have also decided to provide an additional line of credit of US$ 100 million to the Maldives so that all projects can be completed in a timely manner.”

Earlier in the day, the Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said, “A partnership bound by the waves of the Indian Ocean, underpinned by close historical and cultural ties. PM @narendramodi and President @ibusolih of Maldives reviewed the progress in our bilateral ties and discussed ways to further deepen the special partnership.”

Besides official engagements in New Delhi, President Solih will be holding a discussion with an Indian business delegation in Delhi. During this visit, President Solih will also visit Mumbai, Maharashtra and participate in business events.

Maldives is India’s key neighbour in the Indian Ocean Region and occupies a special place in India’s Neighbourhood First Policy. In recent years, the partnership has witnessed rapid growth in all areas of cooperation.

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 “Neighbourhood 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 giving vaccines. Solih mentioned several friendly bilateral partners. However, he singled out New Delhi for assisting the Maldives’ COVID-19 response efforts.