Male: Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday that he is looking forward to working with new Maldivian president Ibrahim Mohamed Solih to strengthen India’s bilateral relations with the strategic Indian Ocean island nation.
Modi congratulated President Solih and also interacted with leaders from the Maldives and other parts of the world during the oath taking ceremony at the National Stadium.
Ministry of External Affairs spokesman Raveesh Kumar said that President Solih in his address to the People’s Majlis (Parliament) asserted that the Maldives will endeavour to fortify its existing ties with India.
This is Modi’s first visit to the Maldives as prime minister. The last visit by an Indian prime minister to the Indian Ocean island nation was by Manmohan Singh in 2011.
The Maldives is the only South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation SAARC country that Modi has not visited. Relations between India and the Maldives deteriorated further after Yameen imposed emergency on February 5 this year. India had criticised his decision and asked his government to restore the credibility of the electoral and political process by releasing political prisoners. The emergency lasted for 45 days.