PM Modi, President Mohamed Solih Commit to Deepen Bilateral Ties As Maldives Comes Out of China’s ‘Shadow’
Prime Minister Narendra Modi leaving for Maldives. (Photo Credit: ANI | Twitter)

Male/New Delhi, November 17: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday met Maldives new President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and discussed various bilateral issues. The two leaders agreed to work together to further "strengthen bilateral relations." The Indian Prime Minister took to twitter saying, "Congratulations to Mr. @ibusolih on taking oath as the President of the Maldives. Wishing him the very best for his tenure ahead. Looking forward to working with him to strengthen bilateral relations between our nations."

"Had productive discussions with President @ibusolih," he added. India was the only country invited at the head of the state or the government level to grace the occasion. According to sources, India was the only country mentioned by President Solih in his speech. According to a joint press statement released by the Ministry of External Affairs, Modi conveyed greetings and compliments from the people of India to the people of the Republic of Maldives on consolidation of democracy, which is essential for peace, prosperity, and stability. Maldives' President-elect Ibrahim Mohamed Solih Invites Narendra Modi to Attend Oath Taking Ceremony.

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 Solih as the seventh President of the Maldives. Both the 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. They also expressed their unwavering commitment and support for increased cooperation in combating terrorism both within the region and elsewhere.

President Solih welcomed and thanked PM Modi for marking his maiden visit to the island nation. Modi, in return, also thanked President Solih for the special gesture of inviting him to the Inauguration Ceremony. Solih also briefed Modi about Maldives' fragile economic situation. 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.

In addition, Modi extended an invitation to President Solih to make a State Visit to India at his earliest convenience. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Maldives will be making an official visit to India on November 26 to hold further discussions and prepare for the forthcoming State Visit of President Solih to India. Commenting on the recent visit, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar also tweeted, "Visit emphasized India's role as a reliable neighbour, supporting the Maldives in its progress and security."