Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit the Maldives on June 8 and 9 and also Sri Lanka on June 9. According to the ministry of external affairs (MEA) the visits will “demonstrate the priority India attaches to its ‘Neighbourhood-First Policy’ and the SAGAR Doctrine”.
It may be recalled that the ‘SAGAR’ doctrine refers to “Security And Growth for All in the Region”. Furthermore, these two southern maritime neighbours of India are seen as vital to its strategic interests particularly in view of increased Chinese assertiveness in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
Meanwhile, new external affairs minister (EAM) S. Jaishankar also held a meeting with top officials of his ministry.
In a statement, the MEA said, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi will pay a state visit to the Republic of Maldives on 08-09 June 2019 at the invitation of H.E. Mr. Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, President of the Republic of Maldives. This will be the first overseas visit of Prime Minister Modi after his re-election. The visit is reflective of the new momentum in high-level exchanges between India and Maldives”.
“Prime Minister Modi’s forthcoming visit will provide an important occasion to review the recent developments in bilateral relations and exchange views on issues of mutual interest with the objective of further strengthening the special relationship between the two countries,” it added.
The statement also read, “Prime Minister Modi will also visit Sri Lanka on June 9 at the invitation of Maithripala Sirisena, President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.”