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Neighbourhood First: Modi wraps up 2-nation visit to Maldives, Sri Lanka

ANI  |  Asia 

Highlighting the importance attaches to its neighbourhood, on Sunday wrapped up his first overseas bilateral trip to and after assuming office for a second term.

He visited the two island nations within 24 hours, taking part in 15 engagements in total, according to Ministry of

"24 hours - 2 countries - 15 engagements. PM @narendramodi emplanes for after a successful visit to and Sri Lanka, demonstrating our priority to #NeighbourhoodFirst. Seen off by Sri Lankan PM @RW_UNP," Kumar tweeted on June 9.

Starting off his first two-nation overseas trip after assuming office for a second term, Modi arrived in to a grand ceremonial welcome on June 8.

The was conferred with the Nishan Izzudeen medal - the highest honour accorded to foreign dignitaries by Maldives - by the island nation's President, Ibrahim Solih, during a ceremony in Male.

Receiving the award, Modi said that gives utmost importance to its relationship with Maldives.

"gives utmost importance to its relationship with Maldives. We want to have a strong partnership with each other. India is willing to help Maldives in every way possible. May the friendship between India and Maldives last forever," the said at the event.

The two countries also held a bilateral, following which six documents were exchanged between India and Maldives, including Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) in health, hydrography and customs capacity building, to name a few. Modi and Solih further inaugurated two projects on and Coastal Surveillance Radar System on Saturday.

also addressed the People's Majlis, meeting former Maldivian and recently-elected Speaker of the Parliament

"Inviting to address was the first decision of the new Majlis, reflecting the close bonds of friendship between India and Maldives," the stated.

then headed for on Sunday, after completing his official engagements in Maldives.

Showing India's solidarity with the people of Sri Lanka, the Indian Prime Minister became the first leader to visit the country after the terror attacks, which killed over 250 people and wounded hundreds of others.

Shortly after landing, Modi paid his respect at the in Colombo, which was one of the eight locations targetted by terrorists on April 21.

"I am confident will rise again. Cowardly acts of terror cannot defeat the spirit of Sri Lanka. India stands in solidarity with the people of Sri Lanka," Modi tweeted after visiting the church.

He was welcomed at the President's Secretariat by Sri Lankan Maithripala Sirisena, where a bilateral was later held between India and Sri Lanka.

Sirisena was one of the BIMSTEC leaders who had attended Modi's swearing-in ceremony in New on May 30. The two sides had also held a bilateral the next day.

Modi also met former and the incumbent Leader of Opposition, Mahinda Rajapaksa, during his whirlwind official visit. A delegation led by R Sampanthan also called on the PM, extending their wishes on his electoral victory in the recently culminated Lok Sabha elections 2019.

Wrapping up his first overseas bilateral trip, Modi was seen off at the airport by his Sri Lankan counterpart Ranil Wickremesinghe, who had also received the leader upon his arrival in

"I had a short but immensely fruitful Sri Lanka visit. Sri Lanka has a special place in our hearts. I assure my sisters and brothers of Sri Lanka that India will always be there with you and support your nation's progress. Thank you for the memorable welcome and hospitality," Modi lastly tweeted, before emplaning for home.

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

First Published: Sun, June 09 2019. 18:11 IST
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