It is in our common interest that we reach an understanding to take our relationship forward, EAM Jaishankar tells Maldives Foreign Minister

New Delhi: India on Thursday reminded Maldives that it has been a key provider of development assistance to the island nation and several projects funded by New Delhi have benefited the lives of thousands of people in the country.

“India has been a key provider of development assistance to the Maldives. Our projects have benefited the lives of people of your country; contributed directly to the quality of life. They range from infrastructure projects and social initiatives to medical evacuation and health facilities,” External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar said during his meeting with Moosa Zameer, Foreign Minister of Maldives, who is on his first official visit to India since assuming office.

In his opening remarks, Jaishankar mentioned India extending financial support to Maldives “on favourable terms” in the past and also mentioned New Delhi being the “first responder” on numerous occasions.

“Our cooperation has also enhanced the security and well-being of your country through shared activities, equipment provisioning, capacity building and training. It is in our common interest that we reach an understanding on how best we take our relationship forward,” said the EAM.

The meeting, Jaishankar stated, was an opportunity to discuss the mutual relationship and chart out future directions.

“As close and proximate neighbours, the development of our ties is obviously based on mutual interests and reciprocal sensitivity. As far as India is concerned, these are articulated in terms of our ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy and ‘SAGAR’ vision,” he said.

In spite of the recent sour ties between the two neighbouring countries after President Mohamed Muizzu came to power in Maldives last year, India recently announced limited exports of essential goods including sugar, wheat, rice, onions and eggs as a goodwill gesture.

“A pleasure to meet with Dr. S. Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs of India, in New Delhi. We reflected on our long history of bilateral partnership shared by mutual respect and understanding. We exchanged perspectives on increasing engagement and exchanges between Maldives and India, both bilaterally and in the international arena,” Zameer posted on X after the meeting with Jaishankar.

IANS

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