Tuesday, May 28th, 2024

India-Maldives relations are based on mutual interests, mutual sensitivity, says Jaishankar

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday said the development of relations between India and Maldives is based on mutual interests and mutual sensitivity of both the countries.

Jaishankar held delegation-level talks with Maldives Foreign Minister Moosa Zameer, who arrived in India a day earlier.

In his opening remarks, Jaishankar “very warmly welcomed” Zamir on his first visit to the country in his current capacity, which the external affairs minister said provided an opportunity to discuss bilateral relations and chart future directions.

“As close and close neighbours, the growth of our relations is clearly based on mutual interests and mutual sensitivity,” Jaishankar said.

Jaishankar said, “As far as India is concerned, these have been expressed in the context of our Neighbor First policy and SAGAR approach. I hope that our meeting today will help us strengthen the convergence of our approaches in various areas.” Will enable.”

He said India has been a major provider of development assistance to the Maldives and the projects have benefited the lives of the people of the country and directly contributed to the quality of life.

“These range from infrastructure projects and social initiatives to medical evacuation and health facilities,” he said.

He said that India has also extended financial assistance to Maldives on favorable terms in the past and India has been the first responder to Maldives on various occasions.

“Our cooperation has also enhanced the security and well-being of your country through shared activities, equipment provision, capacity building and training,” Jaishankar said.

The External Affairs Minister expressed hope that his meeting with Zameer would be able to strengthen the convergence of approaches in various fields.

He emphasized that close partnerships with neighbors are very valuable as the world is going through a volatile and uncertain time.

Jaishankar said, “The world today is going through an unstable and uncertain phase. In times like these, as we have seen during Covid, natural disasters and economic difficulties, close partnerships with neighbors are very valuable. Therefore, today we will review the different dimensions of our relationship. It is in our common interest to agree on how we can best move our relationship forward.”

Zameer’s visit to India comes amid strained relations with the Maldives under the government of President Mohammed Muizzu and as India has said it will replace its military personnel from the Maldives before May 10.

During his visit, both sides will discuss bilateral and regional issues and explore ways to accelerate our multifaceted relations.

In a post on Twitter, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) official spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said, “Heartily welcomes FM @Moosazmeer of Maldives on his official visit to India. Bilateral and regional issues need to be discussed and ways to provide impetus to our multi-dimensional relations are to be explored.

On 3 May, India and Maldives held the fourth meeting of the bilateral high-level core group and reviewed the replacement of Indian military personnel from the island nation by 10 May and said that the government will replace the military personnel before the scheduled date.

Earlier, the Maldives government led by Mohammed Muizzu had formally requested that India withdraw its troops from Male. The Maldives Foreign Ministry said in a press release that the two sides reviewed the existing bilateral cooperation.

“A range of issues of mutual interest, including development and defense cooperation, were discussed,” the Maldives Foreign Ministry said in a press release.

“Both sides expressed satisfaction that the Government of India will be replacing military personnel on the last of the three aviation platforms by May 10, and that all logistics arrangements are proceeding as per schedule,” the press release said.

It was also agreed that the fifth meeting of the High-level Core Group would be held in Male on a mutually agreed date during the month of June/July.

In April, the Ministry of External Affairs said that the first batch of Indian personnel in the Maldives had been replaced by technical personnel.

The Ministry of External Affairs had earlier informed that both India and Maldives have agreed on a set of mutually practical solutions to enable continued operation of Indian aviation platforms that provide humanitarian and medical evacuation services to the people of Maldives.

In April, the Ministry of External Affairs said the first batch of Indian technical personnel arrived in Maldives to replace defense personnel. India and Maldives have held two high-level Core Group meetings, and the third is expected soon.

Removal of Indian troops from the country was the main election campaign of Muizzu’s party. Currently, around 70 Indian troops are deployed in Maldives along with Dornier 228 maritime patrol aircraft and two HAL Dhruv helicopters.

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