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PM Modi on two-nation visit to Maldives & Sri Lanka

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s two-nation visit to Maldives and Sri Lanka begins from Saturday; Keeping in focus the Government’s “Neighbourhood First” policy, the visit is expected to further strengthen the bilateral relations between India and these countries.

On the eve of his departure for Sri Lanka and Maldives, in his departure statement, PM states his visit to the Maldives is reflective of the importance the 2 countries attach to their relationship as maritime neighbours and long-standing friends; says his visit to Sri Lanka is to express solidarity with the Government and the people of Sri Lanka in the wake of the Easter Sunday terror attacks.

PM once again put the emphasis on the importance of his visit after assuming charge. Prime Minister makes it clear that his visit visit to the Maldives is reflective of the importance both the nations attach to their relationship as maritime neighbours and long-standing friends. PM further says that we regard the Maldives as a valued partner with whom we share deep bonds of history and culture. Our bilateral relations with the Maldives have been greatly strengthened in the recent past. He exuded confidence that his visit will further deepen the multifaceted partnership.

For his maiden state visit after assuming office for the second time, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be visiting Maldives from June 8 to June 9. He will arrive at Mal√© on the first day of his tour. On the invitation of the Government of Maldives, PM Modi will address the Maldivian parliament, People’s Majlis. The proposal was passed by all 87 members of the People’s Maslis unanimously a few days back. During his visit, the PM along with the Maldives president, Ibrahim Mohammed Solih will launch a coastal surveillance remote-controlled radar system and an composite training center for the Maldivian defence.

Maldives might be the smallest nation in Asia, but is very important for India through the strategic lens. India has invested in Maldives to strengthen and develop its skill development, tourism, technology, and infrastructure sectors. Maldives has always shown its support towards protecting the interests of India in the Indian Ocean region. But it is not been a one-way street, India too has always supported Maldives in every possible manner in case of an emergency or calamity. For decades, the two nations have shared a strong diplomatic, economic, trade, and social relationship. Last year in November, PM Modi attended the swearing-in ceremony of Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohammed Solih.

Post his two-day visit to Maldives, the Prime Minister will also visit Sri Lanka for a day. The recent terror attack in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday will be an important issue of discussion.

This is the first visit by any foreign leader to Sri Lanka after the tragic events of 21st April when several bomb blasts resulted in huge casualties.

In his departure statement PM states that : My visit to Sri Lanka is to express our solidarity with the Government and the people of Sri Lanka in the wake of the terrible terrorist attacks there last Easter on 21 April 2019. India stands with Sri Lanka in the fight against terrorism. Our bilateral relations with Sri Lanka have gained considerable momentum in the last few years. I had the pleasure of meeting President Sirisena during his recent visit to India to attend the swearing-in ceremony of the new government. I look forward to meeting the Sri Lankan leadership during my visit.

Visit to Sri Lanka shows solidarity with the people and the government in the wake of the tragic events of the 21st April.

There will be an effort to increase bilateral import and export during the PM’s visit to Sri Lanka. India holds more than 16% in Sri Lanka Foreign Direct Investment. PM Modi’s visit is considered as a crucial one in term of reviewing and improving bilateral ties. ‚ÄčThe visits to Maldives and Sri Lanka will demonstrate the priority India attaches to its ‘Neighbourhood-First Policy’ and the SAGAR Doctrine, which is an important part of India’s maritime policy.

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