PM Narendra Modi departs for Maldives to attend Ibrahim Solih's swearing-in
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday left for a day-long visit to Maldives to attend the swearing-in ceremony of President-elect Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.
"Pursuing the policy of Neighbourhood First! On his first visit to our maritime neighbour, PM @narendramodi emplanes for #Maldives to attend the historic swearing-in ceremony of President-elect @ibusolih. The last visit by an Indian PM to Maldives was in November 2011," Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar wrote on his Twitter handle.
This will be Prime Minister Modi's first visit to the Indian Ocean archipelago.
Upon his arrival in Male, Prime Minister Modi will attend Solih's swearing-in ceremony at the National Stadium. He will also separately meet with the 54-year-old leader, before departing for India later in the evening.
Yesterday, in his departure statement, the Prime Minister congratulated Solih for his victory in the Maldivian presidential elections in September and added that the recent polls in the island nation "represent the collective aspirations of the people of the Republic of the Maldives for democracy, rule of law and a prosperous future".
"India and Maldives share a strong partnership rooted in history, strong bonds between our peoples, and their shared aspiration for peace and prosperity. My Government's vision of inclusive development 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikaas' (Collective Efforts, Inclusive Growth) extends to all our neighbours too. We in India strongly desire to see a democratic, prosperous and peaceful Republic of Maldives," Prime Minister Modi wrote.
Solih emerged victorious in the high-octane elections held in the island nation on September 23 which saw the ouster of outgoing president Abdulla Yameen.