Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih to meet PM Modi to strengthen bilateral ties
Maldives’ new President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih arrived on a three-day state visit during which he will hold talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi aimed at strengthening bilateral ties
Maldives' new President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih is all set to hold talks with Narendra Modi on Monday, December 17, after a ceremonial reception. He is also meeting President Ram Nath Kovind soon after.
Solih arrived on a three-day state visit during which he will hold talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi aimed at strengthening bilateral ties.
Solih, who defeated Maldivian strongman Abdulla Yameen in polls in September, arrived on December 16, for his first foreign visit after assuming office and was received by Union minister Hardeep S Puri.
Solih will also call on Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. Solih, who is accompanied by his wife Fazna Ahmed, will visit the Taj Mahal on Tuesday, December 18, before heading back to Maldives.
"Welcoming a special friend. President @ibusolih of #Maldives receives the ceremonial reception @rashtrapatibhvn forecourt in the presence of #PresidentKovind and PM @narendramodi #NeighbourhoodFirst ," tweeted Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar.
Maldives is committed to provide protection and legal cover to foreign investments in the Indian Ocean island nation, said the new Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih said on Sunday, December 16.
"There are no obstacles in Maldives to the full ownership of investment by overseas investors and Maldives is committed to the protection and legal cover to overseas business," the Maldives President said, addressing the India-Maldives Business Forum organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
President Solih's declaration on Sunday assumes significance as both countries seek to renew their close ties, which were briefly interrupted by the political turmoil in Maldives earlier this year.
The current bilateral trade is worth a little over $200 million annually, with the balance in favour of India.
Solih's visit comes about a month after Prime Minister Modi attended his swearing-in ceremony. Narendra Modi had said in Maldives that he was looking forward to working closely with Solih and both the leaders expressed confidence in the renewal of the close ties and friendship between the two countries, which was briefly interrupted by political turmoil in the Indian Ocean island nation.
Relations between India and the Maldives deteriorated further after Yameen imposed emergency on February 5 this year. India had criticised his decision and asked his government to restore the credibility of the electoral and political process by releasing political prisoners. The emergency lasted for 45 days.