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PM to visit Maldives, Sri Lanka from Saturday

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

will embark on a visit to and from June 8 to 9, in reflection of continued priority for the neighbourhood in his second term, the said on Thursday.

Modi will first travel to Maldives, in his first bilateral visit after retaining power in the Lok Sabha polls.

said Modi is visiting on June 9 with a very clear message of solidarity in the wake of the bombings.

On Modi's visit to Maldives, Gokhale said it will be a first PM-level trip to that country since 2011 and both sides will aim to further consolidate overall ties in diverse sectors.

The visited the in November to attend Ibrahim Solih's swearing-in ceremony, signalling the importance attaches to the island nation. However, it was not a full-fledged bilateral visit.

The relations between and the deteriorated after the then imposed emergency on February 5 last year. However, ties were back on track under Solih's presidency.

Gokhale said both sides are expected to explore ways to expand cooperation in a range of areas including defence and security and sign a number of agreements to deepen cooperation in specific areas.

He said Solih had requested to help the country raise its national cricket team and a BCCI delegation visited the island nation last month.

"We are also examining the possibility of building a cricket stadium in Maldives under a Line of Credit or some other means of financial assistance," the said.

"They have requested for coaching programme for young Maldivian players, both men and women," he added.

Gokhale said issues relating to stay of two Indian military helicopters in Maldives as well as cases relating to grant of work permits to Indian expatriates have already been resolved.

He said during the state visit, Modi will be addressing the

Gokhale said a number of developmental projects are under consideration including commencement of a ferry service from Kochi to Maldives.

On the visit to Sri Lanka, he said Modi will travel to that country on June 9 on a tight schedule, and he will be the first first foreign leader to visit the island nation after the bombings.

He is visiting the country with a very clear message of solidarity and signalling our confidence in the in overcoming the tragedy, the said.

was hit by a wave of bombings last month in which over 250 people were killed.

Asked whether India will help Sri Lanka deal with the scourge of terrorism, Gokhale said it is ready for any assistance to any country of the region.

He said Modi will hold talks with Sri Lankan president, and the leader of opposition among others.

Gokhale said Modi's visit to Maldives and Sri Lanka is a reflection of priority he attaches to neighbourhood in his second term as well.

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

First Published: Thu, June 06 2019. 18:20 IST
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