Maldivian President to visit India in Aug; trade, connectivity in focus


Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih is set to visit India in the first week of August, during which discussions on connectivity and trade would likely remain in focus.

Though the date of his visit is yet to be confirmed, he is expected to arrive on August 2-3.

President Solih, during his visit to India, will not only hold political-level talks in Delhi, but will also visit Mumbai to meet business leaders.

His last official visit to India came in December 2018, which was also his first foreign tour since taking office earlier that year. During the 2018 visit, New Delhi announced a financial assistance package of $ 1.4 billion and also offered an additional 1,000 scholarships over the next 5 years.

Even Prime Minister Narendra Modi had chosen Maldives for his first foreign tour after being re-elected in 2019.

President Solih also paid an informal visit to Bengaluru in 2019 to discuss capacity building framework and the training of the Maldivian cricket team.

Developmental partnerships have been a key pillar of the India-Maldives relationship. Under Indian grant-in-aid of 260 million Maldivian Rufiyaa (MVR), 45 projects are being implemented across Maldives. Projects include areas of socio-economic development including tourism, sustainable development, education, fisheries and health care.

Out of these 45 projects, 17 projects have been completed and inaugurated.

Another area of cooperation has been connectivity. India is supporting the Greater Male Connectivity Project, the largest infrastructure project in the Indian Ocean region, through a loan of $400 million and a grant of $100 million.

The project aims to connect the national capital Male with Villingili, Gulhifalhu and Thilaphushi islands through a series of bridges, bridges and roads.

Amid the Covid crisis, as part of Operation Sanjivani, an Indian Air Force special aircraft carried 6.2 tonnes of essential medical supplies from India to Maldives in April 2020.



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