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Press Release

Press Release on Visit of Foreign Secretary to Maldives (November 8-10) 8 November

Shri Harsh Vardhan Shringla, Foreign Secretary of India, is scheduled to visit the Maldives from 08-10 November 2020. This will be the first high-level bilateral visit from India to the Maldives in 2020 and is part of the regular high-level exchanges between the two countries.

During the visit, Foreign Secretary will call on the political leadership, review the state of bilateral relations with his counterpart in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and interact with key Ministers in the Cabinet.

The expected outcomes for the visit include signing of a USD 100 million Grant Agreement with the Government of Maldives for part-financing the Greater Male’ Connectivity Project and the signing of two MoUs to execute High-Impact Community Development Projects (HICDPs) in the Maldives. Foreign Secretary will also attend a ceremony to handover equipment for setting up Children’s Parks across 67 islands of the Maldives and visit the site of Ekuveni running track in Male’ funded through Indian grant assistance. 

Maldives occupies a special place in the ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy followed by India, reciprocated by the ‘India First’ policy of the Government of Maldives. This is manifested by the pace at which bilateral cooperation has progressed since President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih assumed office in November 2018. 8 large infrastructure projects have been taken up for implementation under the USD 1.2 billion Lines of Credit offered to the Maldives. Since November 2018, India has extended financial assistance through budget support grants (USD 50 million), T-Bill subscription (USD 150 million) and currency swap arrangements between central banks (USD 400 million). In addition, India has extended a grant of USD 13 million to implement around 30 High-Impact community projects spread across the length of the country. 

India has provided substantial and swift assistance to the Maldives to mitigate the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Maldivian economy. Following the announcement made during a virtual meeting between Foreign Minister Abdullah Shahid and External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar, USD 250 million assistance was provided to the Maldives in September 2020 as budgetary and revenue support. Furthermore, India’s COVID-19 mitigation support included gifting of medicines, food-aid, evacuation of stranded Maldivians from Wuhan, dispatch of a special COVID-19 relief team, exemptions from export restrictions of medical consumables and testing/emergency breathing apparatus, maintenance of essential food supplies despite trade disruptions, and a special carve-out for Maldivian patients (1050 Maldivian patients and attendants) to travel to India despite the restrictions.

The India-Maldives bilateral partnership is based on our ties steeped in history, and, our shared values of democracy and the rule of law. Foreign Secretary’s visit will underscore the significance of our modern and dynamic partnership, and the complementarities inherent in our Neighbourhood First policy, and the India First followed by the Maldives. The visit will strengthen our mutual desire to work together for the safety and stability of the waters that nurture us, and, for the prosperity of the region that we inhabit. It will further reinforce India’s commitment to expand and deepen the India-Maldives partnership.

 

(8 November, 2020)

 
 
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