During his first overseas visit after being re-elected, Prime Minister Narendra Modi gifted a cricket bat signed by the Indian team to "ardent cricket fan" and Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on Saturday.
This comes after Modi held delegation-level talks with Solih after touching down in the island-nation on Saturday afternoon. He was accorded a grand ceremonial welcome upon his arrival in the Maldives, which included a performance by a dance troupe donning the traditional Maldivian attire.
"Mutually beneficial partnership. Warm discussions marked the meeting between PM @narendramodi & President of Maldives @ibusolih. Focus on further deepening our special relationship by expanding cooperation across sectors," Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.
The two leaders also remote inaugurated projects after their bilateral talks on June 8.
Modi is also scheduled to speak at the People's Majlis or the Maldives Parliament later in the day, apart from a string of other engagements.
He is currently on a two-day visit to the Maldives and Sri Lanka, which is the first bilateral engagement the leader's undertaking after being sworn-in as the Prime Minister for a second term on May 30.
The Maldives had earlier acknowledged India's support in the sports field.
Speaking to ANI, Maldives' Minister of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment of Maldives, Ahmed Mahloof said, "We received a lot of support from the Indian govt in area of youth and sports. We had a successful meeting with BCCI and we expect they will help us develop cricket here. India's support would mean a lot to us."
"Like Afghanistan Cricket Board was adopted by BCCI, we have the expectation that BCCI will help us in the area of cricket. Soon we will work out a strategic plan for sports with technical support from India," he added.
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