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EAM Swaraj arrives in Maldives for 2-day state visit

ANI  |  Asia 

External Affairs Swaraj arrived in Male on Sunday for a 2-day visit to the island nation.

Swaraj is on an official state visit to the on March 17 and 18 at the invitation of her Maldivian counterpart She will be accompanied by and other senior officials, according to the (MEA).

Swaraj will hold a bilateral meeting with Shahid during her visit. She will also participate in delegation-level meetings with the of Defence Mariya Ahmed Didi, of Finance Ibrahim Ameer, and Infrastructure Mohamed Aslam, Abdulla Ameen, and Civil Aviation Aishath Nahula, Minister of Arts, Culture and Heritage Yumna Maumoon, Minister of Environment, Dr Hussain Rasheed Hassan, and

"The ministers will review the entire gamut of bilateral relations and discuss the future programme of action," a statement put out by the MEA said.

On March 17, Swaraj is slated to call on of the Parliament On the second day of her visit, she will call on Maldives' Maldives' Sheikh will also meet the Indian

"attaches the highest importance to its relationship with the which is marked by trust, transparency, mutual understanding and sensitivity," the MEA statement said.

Swaraj's visit to the is aimed at strengthening the "close and friendly relations" between the two nations, after ties between and Male came under strain during former Maldivian Abdulla Yameen's five-year rule, which saw him cosying up with for various development projects, cracking down on dissent and imposing a state of emergency by jailing opposition leaders.

Moreover, there were several diplomatic issues under the with many Indian nationals being reportedly denied visas.

Solih's surprise victory in the Maldives in last September came as a major diplomatic victory for after repeatedly warned the to respect democratic institutions and free the jailed opposition leaders.

had visited the island nation for Solih's swearing-in ceremony in November last year. During the visit, Solih briefed the about Maldives' fragile economic situation.

The two leaders discussed ways in which can continue development partnership in various sectors, particularly to help the new government in meeting its pledges to the people of the Maldives.

During Solih's visit to India in December last year, announced financial assistance of USD 1.4 billion to Male in the form of budgetary support, currency swap and concessional lines of credit to fulfill the socio-economic development programmes of the island nation.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, March 17 2019. 16:19 IST