Prime Minister Narendra Modi has reached Male on the first leg of his two nation tour to Maldives and Sri Lanka.
The Maldivian Government accorded a ceremonial welcome to Prime Minister Modi at Republic Square in Male this evening. In a tweet after his arrival, the Prime Minister said, this visit indicates the importance India attaches to strong ties with the Republic of Maldives and the desire to boost cooperation in various spheres.
This is the first bilateral visit to Maldives of an Indian Prime Minister after 2011. Maldives will confer ‘Nishan Izzuddin’ award on Prime Minister Modi. It is the Maldives’ highest award to honour foreign nationals.
The Prime Minister will have bilateral discussions with Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, hold meetings with Vice President Faisal Naseem and Speaker of Majlis and former President Mohamed Nasheed during his visit.
He will also address the legislative body of the island nation called the People’s Majlis today. Several key agreements and MoUs are expected to be signed during this visit.
Along with President Solih, Prime Minister Modi is likely to inaugurate the Coastal Surveillance System and the Comprehensive Training Centre for National Defence Forces of Maldives. The two projects have been developed with Indian Grants.
India is likely to announce a few new projects to Maldives including building a cricket Stadium there, renovating the Friday Mosque by the Archaeological Survey of India.
Tomorrow, Prime Minister Modi will reach Sri Lankan capital, Colombo. The visit is regarded as a move to express solidarity with the neighbouring nation in the wake of the Easter Sunday attacks.