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Sushma Swaraj arrives in Maldives for two-day visit

Press Trust of India  |  Male 

on Sunday arrived in the on a two-day visit, in the first full-fledged bilateral trip from to the island nation after the government of came to power in November.

In a special gesture, Swaraj was received at the airport by her Maldivian counterpart and Abdul Mohamed, (MEA) said.

"EAM @SushmaSwaraj receives a warm welcome on arrival in # In a special gesture, FM @abdulla_shahid & receive EAM at airport. 1st high-level visit to since government assumed office in Nov. 2018," he said in a tweet.

In Male, Swaraj will have a bilateral meeting with Shahid and delegation-level talks with Mariya Ahmed Didi, Ibrahim Ameer, and Mohamed Aslam, Transport and and

Swaraj will also call on Solih on Monday and of the Parliament on Sunday. Sheikh will also call on Swaraj.

In New Delhi, the MEA said Saturday that her visit is aimed at further strengthening the "close and friendly" relations between the two

"attaches the highest importance to its relationship with the Maldives which is marked by trust, transparency, mutual understanding and sensitivity," it said.

"The ministers will review the entire gamut of bilateral relations and discuss future programme of action," the MEA said.

and a number of senior officials are accompanying Swaraj during the trip.

Officials said it will be the first full-fledged bilateral visit at the political level from to the Maldives after the new government assumed office.

They said visited the Maldives in November only to attend Solih's swearing-in ceremony and no substantive discussion had taken place then.

Sources said the Maldives was aware of Indian government's limitations due to the election code of conduct and that Swaraj's visit will be to enhance overall ties which came under strain during the presidentship of Abdulla Yameen, who was known to be close to

Solih visited India in December last year during which India announced a USD 1.4 billion financial assistance to the island nation.

The two had also agreed to remain mindful of each other's concerns and aspirations for the stability of the region and not allow their respective territories to be used for any activity inimical to their interests.

Relations between India and the Maldives deteriorated after the then imposed emergency on February 5 last year.

India had criticised his decision and asked his government to restore the credibility of the electoral and political process by releasing political prisoners. The emergency lasted for 45 days.

Solih became president in November after he defeated Yameen in

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

First Published: Sun, March 17 2019. 14:30 IST