Ahead of Narendra Modi’s scheduled visit to the Maldives today, President Ibrahim Solih has announced his decision to confer on the Prime Minister the highest award accorded to foreign dignitaries in the island nation.
“President of Maldives announced to confer the highest honour accorded to foreign dignitaries on PM @narendramodi,” Prasar Bharati News Services tweeted. Notably, Narendra Modi will visit the Maldives and Sri Lanka from June 8 to 9, in his first bilateral trip after his re-election for a second term, the Ministry of External Affairs said.
Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said the choice of the two countries underlined the government’s continued emphasis on the neighbourhood-first policy. “This will be the first trip by the Indian Prime Minister to the Maldives, after Manmohan Singh visited the island nation in 2011,” said Gokhale.
According to Gokhale, New Delhi and Male have had extensive exchanges at the highest level over the past few months. During Modi’s visit, the two countries are likely to sign agreements related to customs, white shipping and training of civil servants among others.