Flags of Maldives and India line up streets of Malé (Photo/ANI)
Flags of Maldives and India line up streets of Malé (Photo/ANI)

Maldives all set for PM Modi's 'historic' visit

By Ashoke Raj (ANI) | Updated: Jun 07, 2019 16:24 IST

Male (Maldives), June 07 (ANI): The Maldives is all set to welcome Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a "historic" bilateral visit, his first after coming to power for a second consecutive term.
The visit is in tune with the 'India first policy' of Male and 'Neighbourhood First' policy of New Delhi. The streets in Male are lined up flags of India and Maldives, to welcome PM Modi and his delegation.
Modi is scheduled to arrive in the island nation on Saturday afternoon for a two-day visit.
"It is a very historic visit. It will allow us to discuss the entire gamut of bilateral relations. All preparation is in place. It is a big honour for us as the visit has been given the status of a state visit, " Ambassador of India to Maldives, Sunjay Sudhir, told ANI.
"This visit also epitomises 'India First' policy of Maldives and 'Neighbourhood First' policy of India. India is perhaps Maldives' most important partner", he added
The Prime Minister will meet Maldives President Ibrahim Solih and the two leaders are expected to sign several agreements related to customs cooperation, capacity building, defence and connectivity issues.
They will also jointly inaugurate a couple of projects, including the crucial coastal surveillance radar system, which is key to enhancing maritime security in the Indian Ocean region.
The prime minister is also scheduled to address the Maldives Parliament.
"This is only the second time that any foreign leader will address the Majlis (Maldives Parliament)," Sunjay Sudhir said.
Last Month, the Maldivian Parliament unanimously passed a resolution for inviting Modi to address the House during his visit.
Besides Solih, Modi will also meet Vice-President Faisal Naseem and Speaker of Majlis (the Maldivian Parliament) and former President Mohamed Nasheed.
Modi had earlier visited the island nation in November last year to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Solih, who assumed office after defeating Abdulla Yameen in the presidential polls.
During Solih's visit to India in December, New Delhi had announced financial assistance of USD 1.4 billion to Male.
Modi will visit Sri Lanka on June 9. (ANI)