New Delhi [India], May 27 (ANI): Giving an impetus to the India-Maldives ties, Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra on Friday held a discussion with a group of Maldivian journalists, who are on a familiarisation visit to India for a week.
Taking to Twitter, the Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi wrote, “Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra interacted with a group of Maldivian journalists who are on a week-long familiarisation visit to India. A useful exchange in further deepening the mutual understanding between our two countries.”
India’s “Neighborhood First” policy and Maldives’ “India First” policy work in tandem to tackle shared concerns and advance mutual interests.
For India, Maldives has always been a close and important maritime neighbour. Multifaceted ties between the two countries have strengthened despite the pandemic related disruptions. High-level engagements continued with External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar visiting Maldives in February 2021 and two visits by the Foreign Minister of Maldives to India in April and July 2021.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Maldivian counterpart Ibrahim Mohamed Solih had a telephonic conversation in July 2021.
Bilateral cooperation with Maldives includes the creation of people-friendly infrastructure – housing, water and sanitation, health and education, ports, roads and stadiums. It also includes maritime security; connectivity and people to people exchanges.
India gifted 200,000 doses of Covishield vaccines to the Maldives in January – February 2021 and this set the stage for a rapid and successful vaccination drive in the Maldives. This has enabled the Maldivian economy to get back on a path to recovery.
India has emerged as Maldives’ second-largest trade partner, with around 13 per cent market share for Indian exports. In July 2021, India extended the agreement on quotas for restriction-free export of 9 essential commodities to the Maldives for the next 3 years. (ANI)