In the continuation of ‘neighbourhood first’ policy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his first bilateral state visit after assuming office for the second term, will travel to the Maldives and Sri Lanka on June 8-9.
In the Swearing-in ceremony, PM Modi replaced SAARC nations with BIMSTEC, of which the Maldives is not the part. Modi said that his visit to the Maldives is reflective of the importance both countries attach to its relationship as maritime neighbours and long-standing friends.
Through a statement released on his website, Modi said, “We regard the Maldives as a valued partner with whom we share deep bonds of history and culture. Our bilateral relations with the Maldives have been greatly strengthened in the recent past. I am confident that my visit will further deepen our multifaceted partnership.” Prime Minister will also address the Maldivian Parliament, the Majlis.
PM Modi said that his visit to Sri Lanka is to express India’s solidarity with the Government and the people of Sri Lanka in the wake of the terrible terrorist attacks there last Easter on April 21, 2019.
“I am confident that my visit to the Maldives and Sri Lanka will further strengthen our close and cordial ties with our maritime neighbours, in line with our ‘Neighbourhood-First Policy’ and the vision of Security and Growth for All in the Region,” read the statement.
PM Modi had earlier visited the Maldives in November last year to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih after he defeated Abdulla Yameen in the presidential elections.