Foreign Secretary Shringla holds bilateral meetings with Maldivian leadership

PTI, Nov 10, 2020, 7:46 PM IST

Male: Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla on Tuesday held a series of meetings with the Maldivian leadership and the Opposition and discussed ways to further strengthen India’s relations with the island nation, and reviewed the progress of key infrastructure projects under the USD 1.3 billion bilateral package.

Shringla, who was on a two-day visit to the Maldives, held a joint meeting with Minister for National Planning, Housing and Infrastructure Mohamed Aslam, Minister of Economic Development Fayyaz Ismail and Minister of Finance Ibrahim Ameer.

On Monday, Shringla also called on President of Maldives Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and Speaker of the People’s Majlis Mohamed Nasheed.

[email protected] held a joint-meeting with Minister for National Planning, Housing & Infra Dvpt @AslamAslamtey Minister of Economic [email protected]_i& Minister of Finance @iameeru; they assessed progress in 8 infrastructure projects part of the USD 1.3 billion bilateral package,” the High Commission of India in the Maldives tweeted.

India is carrying out a wide range of infrastructure projects in the Maldives, including Greater Male Connectivity Project (GMCP) and other projects such as port, roads and reclamation, expansion of airports, the building of a new Cricket Stadium and cancer hospital and development of fisheries.

Shringla also met Maldivian Home Minister and leader of the Adaalath Party Imran Abdulla and sought the party’s cooperation in further strengthening the bilateral relations.

The religious conservative Adaalath party is part of the Maldivian Democratic Party-led ruling coalition.

“Foreign Secretary @harshvshringla @HarshShringla met Home Minister & leader of the Adaalath Party @ShimranAb; FS sought continuing cooperation of the Adaalath Party in ensuring the success of #IndiaMaldives relations,” it said in another tweet.

In keeping with the democratic traditions India and the Maldives share, Shringla also met the leadership of the Opposition Progressive-Congress Coalition.

“He briefed them on India-supported projects in the Maldives, being undertaken as per Maldivian priorities,” it tweeted.

“The opposition coalition recognised India’s historical assistance and expressed strong support for further deepening #IndiaMaldives relations,” it said.

The Foreign Secretary also called on former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and acknowledged his valuable contribution in laying a solid foundation of the India-Maldives partnership and sought his continued support for bilateral ties.

In a tweet, Gayoom said, “Indian FS @harshvshringla called on me today. We had a wide-ranging discussion on our excellent bilateral relations. Once again I reiterated my thanks to successive Indian governments for their outstanding support to the Maldives for over many decades.”

On Monday, India and the Maldives signed two Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs), including one for a USD 100 million grant to fund the Greater Male Connectivity Project, that is emblematic of the strong development partnership which is multi-faceted and designed to meet the specific requirements of the government and people of the Maldives.

He also visited the site of the new Chancery building in Hulhumale Phase II, the foundation stone for which was earlier laid by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.

“After a two-day visit packed with productive meetings & civil society engagements, the Foreign Secretary departed for Delhi,” the Indian High Commission tweeted.

“The visit served to reinforce the core values of the #MaldivesIndia partnership & further consolidated our close friendly relations,” it said.

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