Union Home Minister Amit Shah will hold a bilateral meeting with his Maldivian counterpart Sheikh Imran Abdulla on Friday and will discuss security cooperation between the two countries, officials said on Thursday.
This is for the first time Shah will meet Abdulla, who is on a four-day visit to India beginning on Thursday.
The India-Maldives bilateral meeting will be held on February 21 in which the Indian delegation will be led by Shah and the Maldivian team by Abdulla, a government official said.
Both the ministers will discuss issues related to bilateral security cooperation, the official said.
India and Maldives share ethnic, linguistic, cultural, religious and commercial links steeped in antiquity. Except for a brief period between February 2012 and November 2018, relations between the two countries have been close, cordial and multi-dimensional.
India was among the first to recognise Maldives after its independence in 1965 and to establish diplomatic relations with the country.
Proximity of Maldives to the west coast of India (it is barely 70 nautical miles away from Minicoy and 300 nautical miles away from India's West coast), and its situation at the hub of commercial sea-lanes running through the Indian Ocean and its potential to allow a third nation's naval presence in the area imbues it with significant strategic importance to India.