In an effort to enhance ties, India and Maldives signed agreements on development projects on Wednesday as External Affairs minister S Jaishankar visited the island nation and met with the country’s top leadership.
The agreement contained a 100 million Rufiyaa (Maldivian currency) funding for the High Impact Community Development Project (HICDP) initiative. This funds will be used to implement a number of socio-economic development initiatives around the nation.
It also featured the construction of a sports centre in Gahdhoo and a partnership between Maldives National University and Cochin University of Science and Technology.
Jaishankar, who is in Male on the opening day of a three-day trip to the Maldives and Sri Lanka, declared, “We are excellent neighbours. We are formidable allies. We have invested in each other’s development and progress. But we also share responsibility for the region’s peace and security.”
Jaishankar stated, after a “constructive discussion” with his Maldivian counterpart Abdulla Shahid, that the security collaboration between the two nations continues to deepen, as it should.
“India is always willing to meet the wants and demands of the Maldives, both for itself and for the region as a whole,” he continued.
“Much of our diplomatic focus is on reducing global tensions and protecting the interests of nations like Maldives… Jaishankar continued, “many of your worries are also our concerns.”
The two ministers also saw the transfer of two Indian maritime ambulances to the Maldives Ministry of Defense.
“The agreements and memorandums of understanding that we have exchanged today are merely reaffirmations of the extremely solid development partner that we have forged. The groundbreaking ceremony for what is, without exaggeration, one of the most awaited projects in the North (of the country) has been examined jointly.
He stated that, if completed, the Hanimaadhoo International Airport expansion project will alter the lives and livelihoods of everyone in the Northern Maldives.
“Because the airport begins in the north, we are also honoured to be a participant in another highly ambitious project in the capital, the greater Male connectivity project. This is the largest undertaking ever undertaken in this nation,” he remarked.
The Maldivian Minister of Foreign Affairs stated that the two maritime ambulances acquired under the HICDP programme will significantly increase the capability of emergency medical services. Additionally, Jaishankar visited Noonu Mandhoo preschool. This country will receive 10,000 books from India for distribution in 260 schools.
In the meantime, Jaishankar also met with the president of the Maldives, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, to examine the development of bilateral relations. “It is an honour to meet with President @ibusolih of the Maldives. Transmitted the greetings of PM @narendramodi. He tweeted that he had “assessed the tremendous development in our bilateral partnership, which has led to transformational projects.”