Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Male on Saturday, where he is slated to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Maldives President-elect Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, who invited Modi during a phone call after defeating strongman Abdulla Yameen in the election held on September 23.
The last visit by an Indian Prime Minister to the Indian Ocean island nation was by Manmohan Singh in 2011. The Maldives was the only South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation SAARC country that PM Modi had not visited. His visit to the Maldives, a strategically vital island and a popular tourist destination, was cancelled in March 2015 due to the volatile political situation then.
PM Modi to visit Maldives on Nov 17, to attend swearing in ceremony of president-elect Ibrahim Mohamed Solih
HIGHLIGHTES on PM Modi in Maldives:
06:20 pm: PM Modi greeted by dignitaries on his arrival at the National Stadium in Malé for the inaugural ceremony of President-elect Ibrahim Mohamed Solih
Atmosphere of celebration.— Raveesh Kumar (@MEAIndia) November 17, 2018
PM @narendramodi greeted by dignitaries on his arrival at the National Stadium in Malé for the inaugural ceremony of President-elect Ibrahim Mohamed Solih pic.twitter.com/uhZVNH4eRH
5:57 pm: Prime Minister interacts with leaders from The Maldives and other parts of the world during the oath taking ceremony of Ibrahim Mohamed Solih
5:30 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives at National Stadium in Male for attending the swearing-in ceremony of Maldives' President-elect Ibrahim Mohamed Solih
Prime Minister Narendra Modi reaches National Stadium in Male, to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Maldives' President-elect Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. pic.twitter.com/Z6U8lGtHgB— ANI (@ANI) November 17, 2018
5:00 pm: PM Modi arrives in Maldives
Prime Minsiter Narendra Modi arrives in Malé. PM Modi is on a visit to Maldives to attend the inauguration ceremony of the President-elect Ibrahim Mohamed Solih in Malé. pic.twitter.com/IQPUZ4dVAI— ANI (@ANI) November 17, 2018
"I will convey to the new Maldivian Government of Mr Solih the desire of the Indian Government to work closely for realisation of their developmental priorities, especially in areas of infrastructure, health care, connectivity & human resource development," Modi said in a series of tweets ahead of his first visit to the Maldives as prime minister.
The recent elections in the Maldives represent the collective aspirations of the people for democracy, rule of law and a prosperous future, he said.
"We in India strongly desire to see a stable, democratic, prosperous and peaceful Republic of Maldives," the prime minister said.
Modi also congratulated Solih on his victory in the recent elections and wished him "the very best for his tenure".
"India and the Maldives share a strong partnership rooted in history, strong bonds between our peoples, and their shared aspiration for peace and prosperity. My Government’s vision of inclusive development ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikaas’ extends to all our neighbours too," he said.
The prime minister also said he will convey to Solih his wish to work with the new Maldives government in different areas to boost bilateral ties.