Sushma Swaraj to embark on two-day visit to Maldives from tomorrow 

Sushma Swaraj at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation foreign ministers' meeting. Photograph:( ANI )

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India Mar 16, 2019, 03.23 PM (IST) Siddhant Sibal

In a first full-fledged bilateral engagement with Maldives since the new government assumed office in November 2018, India's External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will embark on a two-day visit to the Indian Ocean island nation from March 17 to 18.

Swaraj will call on Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, Speaker of the Maldives Parliament Qasim Ibrahim, and Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid with whom she will hold a Joint Ministerial Meeting during her two-day visit.

She will also meet Defence Minister Mariya Ahmed Didi, Finance Minister Ibrahim Ameer, Infrastructure Minister Mohamed Aslam, Health Minister Abdulla Ameen, Environment Minister Dr Hussain Rasheed Hassan among others.

In a release, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said, "India attaches the highest importance to its relationship with the Maldives which is marked by trust, transparency, mutual understanding and sensitivity. This visit will further strengthen the close and friendly relations between India and Maldives."

Maldives foreign ministry in a release said, both sides will discuss ongoing and future collaboration arrangements, including the implementation of the agreed outcomes during the state visit by President Solih.

PM Modi was present during the swearing-in ceremony of President Solih and in December President Solih had visited New Delhi. 

The visit will give a political signal that India's commitment to Male will continue and New Delhi will do whatever it can to support President Solih and his government. 

The Maldives under former president Abdulla Yameen had junked the pro-India "India first" policy for a pro-China policy.

Story highlights

Swaraj will call on Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, Speaker of the Maldives Parliament Qasim Ibrahim, and Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid with whom she will hold a Joint Ministerial Meeting