Male, Maldives: Neighbourhood First Policy of India was praised by the Foreign Minister of Maldives, Abdulla Shahid, on January 18, 2023. While praising the neighbour country, the Minister outlined that India has always been the first responder during the time of crisis. The statement was released at the time when the Foreign Minister of India, S Jaishankar, reached Maldives. Jaishankar received a very warm welcome from the leaders of Maldives.
During the meeting with the MoF, Shahid shared his views on the various sector. He stated, “We appreciate the Neighbourhood First Policy of India, which helps in the well-being of the Maldives.” Furthermore, he applauded the country for its support towards the development of the infrastructure during the COVID times. He further added that India has always provide stood at the forefront to help its supporters.
Shahid added that India had given essential medicines, commodities and many more things during the tough time. He was quoted saying, “India is always our first responder in times of crisis.” In addition to this, he said about the diplomatic relation shared by both countries and stated that India and Maldives are divided by borders, sharing a good and strong friendship.
Prior to this, Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, in August 2022, had a business tour to India. During the tour, the president met with the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, and launched the Greater Male Connectivity Project, which is the largest infrastructure project in the Maldives and is funded by the government of India.
According to various reports, the Male Connectivity projects will be constructed under USD 100 million grant by India and USD 400 million lines of Credit.
Maldives is one of its important neighbours of India in the Indian Ocean Region and occupies a special place in India’s Neighbourhood First Policy. In recent years, the partnership has witnessed rapid growth in all areas of cooperation.