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PM Modi holds 'fruitful' talks with Maldives' ex-presidents Gayoom & Nasheed

Press Trust of India  |  Male 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday met the Maldives' former presidents Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and Mohamed Nasheed, and held "fruitful" discussions with the two leaders on ways to strengthen the friendship between the two countries.

Modi also called on Vice President Faisal Naseem during his visit to the country, his first foreign trip after re-election as Prime Minister to strengthen the bilateral ties, reflecting the importance India attaches to its 'Neighbourhood First' policy.

Gayoom, 81, served as the third President of the Maldives for 30 years from 1978 to 2008.

"Former President Gayoom is an extraordinary statesman who has served the Republic of Maldives with great diligence. Had fruitful discussions with him on ways to strengthen friendship between India and the Republic of Maldives," Prime Minister Modi said on Twitter.

He also met 52-year-old Nasheed - the Maldives' first democratically-elected President - who is now the Speaker of Parliament - the Majlis.

"Mr. @MohamedNasheed has always been a strong votary of robust relations between India and the Republic of Maldives. We had a wonderful meeting in Mal, where a wide range of topics were discussed," Modi tweeted.

Nasheed served as the fourth President of the Maldives from 2008 to February 7, 2012.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Modi called on Vice President Naseem and held talks to add strength to the bilateral ties.

"Happy to have met you, Vice President @FaisalNasym. Our talks will add strength to ties between India and the Republic of Maldives," he said on Twitter.

Naseem said in a tweet: "Maldives is honoured to welcome our dear friend & ally, PM @narendramodi. The close friendship the PM maintains with the Maldives is a testament to the age old bond between the people of #Maldives & #India. Yeh dosti hum nahin tholhenge (sic)".

Earlier, addressing the Maldivian Parliament, the Majlis, Modi said that relations between India and Maldives are older than history.

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

First Published: Sat, June 08 2019. 23:50 IST