Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in the Maldives on his first foreign visit after re-election to strengthen the bilateral ties, reflecting the importance India attaches to its ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy. Mr. Modi was received at Male airport by Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid.
While Mr. Modi visited the Maldives in November 2018 to attend President Solih’s swearing-in, this visit is the first by an Indian Prime Minister at a bilateral level in eight years. The two-day visit is aimed at further cementing ties with the Indian Ocean archipelago.
Mr. Modi was conferred with the Maldives’ highest honour “Rule of Nishan Izzuddeen” during his two-day state visit to the country. The prestigious award was presented to Mr. Modi by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih during a ceremony. The Maldives says, the award is in recognition of the many services Prime Minister Modi has offered to cement the longstanding and amicable ties between the two countries, and for the magnanimous assistance that the Indian government continues to provide to the Maldives under his stewardship.
The relations between India and the Maldives deteriorated after the then President Abdulla Yameen imposed emergency on February 5 last year. However, ties were back on track under Solih’s presidency.