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‘India working to deepen ties with Maldives’, PM Modi tells President Solih

Prime Minister Narendra Modi reiterated India’s commitment to work closely with the Maldives to deepen the bilateral partnership and assist the archipelago in line with its requirements for socio-economic development.

india Updated: Apr 08, 2019 18:58 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi called Maldives President Ibrahim Mohammed Solih to congratulate him on the Maldivian Democratic Party’s (MDP) victory in parliamentary elections.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi called Maldives President Ibrahim Mohammed Solih to congratulate him on the Maldivian Democratic Party’s (MDP) victory in parliamentary elections.(HT PHOTO)
         

India is committed to working closely with the Maldives to deepen the partnership between the two sides and to assist the Indian Ocean archipelago’s socio-economic development, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on Monday.

Modi called Solih to congratulate him on the Maldivian Democratic Party’s (MDP) victory in parliamentary elections. He also spoke to former president Mohamed Nasheed, the leader of the MDP, and congratulated him on the “momentous” victory, according to a statement from the external affairs ministry.

The “significant victory of MDP signifies a resounding endorsement of the policies and efforts of its leaders, who have worked with deep commitment for the people of the Maldives,” Modi told Solih.

Modi welcomed the successful completion of elections, which marked the “consolidation of democracy and strengthening of democratic institutions”. He reiterated India’s commitment, in keeping with its “neighbourhood first” policy, to work closely with the Maldives to deepen the bilateral partnership and assist the archipelago in line with its requirements for socio-economic development.

While speaking to Nasheed, Modi lauded the “participation of all democracy-loving forces in deepening the roots of democracy in the Maldives and offered India’s continued assistance for this objective,” the statement said.

Following talks between Modi and Solih in New Delhi in December, India had said it will provide $1.4 billion as financial aid to the Maldives, which is grappling with mounting Chinese debt. The two sides had also signed four agreements that will boost cooperation in areas ranging from healthcare to defence.

The talks were aimed at resetting bilateral ties following the defeat of pro-China strongman Abdulla Yameen in presidential elections in October.

The MDP’s sweeping victory in the parliamentary elections could give Solih a free hand to restore political freedoms and tackle corruption. The MDP is set to become the first party to win a majority in Parliament since the Maldives became a multi-party democracy in 2008 after decades of autocratic rule.

First Published: Apr 08, 2019 18:58 IST

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