Jaishankar reaches Maldives for talks, next stop Lanka

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External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar held a cordial and fruitful meeting with Maldives Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid in Manadhoo on Wednesday afternoon…reports Asian Lite News

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar arrived in the Maldives on Wednesday on the first leg of a two-nation visit that also includes Sri Lanka.

Announcing the visit on Tuesday, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had said both Maldives and Sri Lanka are India’s key maritime neighbours in the Indian Ocean Region. They occupy a special place in Prime Minister’s vision of ‘SAGAR’ (Security and Growth for All in the Region) and ‘Neighbourhood First’.

“EAM’s visit is testimony to the importance that India attaches to its close and friendly relations with the Maldives and Sri Lanka,” the MEA had pointed out.

“Delighted to arrive in Maldives for my fourth visit as External Affairs Minister. Thank FM @abdulla_shahid for the warm welcome. The synergies of India’s Neighborhood First and Maldives’ India First policies strengthen further,” EAM Jaishankar tweeted.

He is scheduled to call on President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and hold discussions with Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid.

According to the MEA, the visit will see signing of agreements related to the bilateral development cooperation, ground-breaking/ inauguration/ handing-over and launch of a number of key India-supported projects that will contribute to the socio-economic development of the Maldives.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar held a cordial and fruitful meeting with Maldives Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid in Manadhoo on Wednesday afternoon.

During the meeting, they discussed the whole range of the unique bilateral relationship between India and the Maldives, covering development cooperation, capacity building, and people-to-people linkages.

Taking to Twitter, EAM Jaishankar wrote, “Warm and productive meeting with Foreign Minister @abdulla_shahid in Manadhoo today afternoon. Discussed the full spectrum of our special bilateral partnership with focus on development cooperation, capacity building and people to people ties.”

He added, “The partnership with India has made a real difference to the lives of people. My visit was an opportunity to see tangible results.”

In addition, EAM Jaishankar witnessed the exchange of agreements and handovers for:

Community development projects across Maldives.

The construction of a sports complex in Gahdhoo.

Academic collaboration between the Maldives National University and Cochin University.

Sea ambulance to the Maldives Defense Force.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Maldives, both ministers noted the successful economic cooperation and the progress of projects that is being implemented under Indian grant assistance and line of credit schemes.

They exchanged views and shared their visions relating to development cooperation, tourism cooperation, human resource development, multilateral engagements, and consular affairs between both countries, the ministry added.

Additionally, Minister Shahid expressed gratitude to the Government of India for the constant support to facilitate and further develop economic, trade and investment ties between both countries, and for India’s commitment in the socioeconomic development of the Maldives.

India hands over two Sea ambulances to Maldives

India handed over two Sea Ambulances to Maldives on Wednesday that were procured under the Indian Grant Assistance scheme.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Maldives Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid attended the handover ceremony held at Noonu Manadhoo today. A number of significant Memorandums of Understanding were exchanged between Maldives and India in various fields, as part of Jaishankar’s visit to Male. “During the ceremony, both Foreign Minister Shahid and External Affairs Minister Dr. Jaishankar also witnessed the handover of two sea ambulances from the Government of India to the Ministry of Defence of Maldives which was a project carried out under the High Impact Community Development Project Scheme,” the Maldives government said in a statement.

As part of the close cooperation between India and Maldives under the Indian Grant Assistance scheme, Maldives’s Defence Ministry has procured two Sea Ambulances. A total of 6.2 million Rufiyaa was allocated to the Maldives for the procurement of Sea Ambulances.

The scope of the project is to procure two new Sea Ambulances to strengthen the healthcare delivery system in the Maldives. It will also help with the inter-island travels of patients in emergency. The Maldives government thanked the Indian government for the Sea Ambulances.

Jaishankar is on a visit to Male to see the signing of agreements related to the bilateral development cooperation, ground-breaking/inauguration/handing-over.

At today’s ceremony, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Ahmed Khaleel and Indian High Commissioner Munu Mahawar exchanged the Memorandum of Understanding between Maldives and India for additional grant assistance of 100 million Rufiyaa for the High Impact Community Development Project scheme.

External Affairs Minister said that all Indian projects in the country adhere to the tenet of the Indian development cooperation approach which lays emphasis on transparency, and competitive pricing.

“Needless to say, all these projects adhere to the basic tenet of the Indian development cooperation approach which is the emphasis on transparency, full participation, ownership of the host country and competitive pricing,” he said. (ANI)

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