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Maldives committed to 'India first' policy: Male to New Delhi

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

today assured Indian leadership of its 'first policy' - an affirmation which comes amid chill in bilateral ties over a host of issues, including the signing of an FTA between and

The assurance was made by Maldivian during talks with his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj.

Asim, also of the of Abdulla Yameen, called on Modi and reiterated "the commitment of his to maintain close relations with under Maldives' 'first' policy", an external affairs ministry release said.

Modi affirmed that India would always be a reliable and close neighbour of Maldives supporting it in its progress and security.

Swaraj also conveyed India's commitment in achieving the full potential of bilateral relationship in line with the government's 'neighbourhood first policy'.

The visit by the Maldivian leader is seen as an effort by Male to assuage concerns of following a free trade pact with after which India had made it clear that it expected that as a close and friendly neighbour, the island nation would be sensitive to its concerns in keeping with its 'India first' policy.

The MEA release said discussions centred around strengthening of the development partnership between the two countries, and enhancing defence and security cooperation.

Asim also reiterated Yameen's invitation to the prime minister to visit Maldives. Modi conveyed his gratitude for the invitation and agreed to the visit at a suitable time, the release said.

During his call on, the also emphasised that Maldives attached the highest priority to its ties as close neighbours bound by shared history, culture and maritime interests in the

Asim conveyed the greetings of Yameen to the prime minister, which was warmly reciprocated by Modi.

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

First Published: Thu, January 11 2018. 21:30 IST