Source : Asian News International (ANI)
|External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Maldives Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid held a bilateral meeting and press conference on Wednesday.|
Male [Maldives]: Maldives Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid, on Wednesday, appreciated India’s Neighbourhood First Policy and said that New Delhi is always the first responder in a time of crisis.
After exchanging agreements with the External Affairs Minister on various sectors, Shahid said, “We appreciate India’s Neighbourhood First Policy which helps in the well-being of the Maldives.”
Earlier today, Jaishankar reached the Maldives and received a warm welcome from his Maldivian counterpart.
While addressing the presser, Shahid mentioned India’s infrastructure support amid Covid pandemic. He also said that India gave essential medicines, commodities and many more things.
“India is always our first responder in times of crisis,” Shahid said.
He also appreciated Jaishankar and his fitness. Later on, he also said that though India and Maldives are divided by borders, they still share a good friendship. “We both appreciate each other,” the Maldivian Foreign Minister said.
Meanwhile, Jaishankar, in the press conference said, “We have jointly reviewed our ongoing infrastructure projects and the groundbreaking ceremony of what I think without any exaggeration is one of the most anticipated projects, the Hanimaadhoo International Airport expansion project will be held later this evening.”
He also said pointed out that the Greater Male Connectivity Project will become an ‘economic corridor’. He also mentioned other key infra projects that are supported by New Delhi.
Earlier, in August 2022, when Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih visited India, he and Prime Minister Narendra Modi jointly launched the Greater Male Connectivity project, the largest infra project of the Maldives which is being funded by New Delhi.
As per earlier reports, the Male connectivity projects will be built under India’s USD 100 million grant and USD 400 million lines of Credit. India also extended a USD 100 million line of credit for development projects in the Maldives.
Maldives is India’s key neighbour in the Indian Ocean Region and occupies a special place in India’s Neighbourhood First Policy. In recent years, the partnership has witnessed rapid growth in all areas of cooperation. (ANI)