Visit to Maldives, Sri Lanka will reinforce 'Neighbourhood First' policy - Modi

Visit to Maldives, Sri Lanka will reinforce 'Neighbourhood First' policy - Modi

On Modi's Sri Lanka visit, the MEA said that this will be the first visit by a foreign leader to Sri Lanka after the tragic events of the April 21.

"The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is to arrive in Colombo on Sunday for a visit limited to a few hours". I had the pleasure of meeting President Sirisena during his recent visit to India to attend the swearing-in ceremony of the new government.

The relations between India and the Maldives had deteriorated after former President Abdulla Yameen imposed emergency on February 5 previous year.

I am visiting the Republic of Maldives and the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka on 08-09 June 2019 at the invitation of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and President Maithripala Sirisena, respectively.

He added this is just the beginning of India's endeavour to build and develop infrastructure in the region with the help of other countries. "Water supply and sewerage for 36 of the islands which [are] inhabited, another is urban development centre in the southern part of the Maldives and third project is SME development financing project", Gokhale said, while providing the project's details.

India's External Affairs Ministry said that the prime minister's visit "will provide an important occasion to review the recent developments in bilateral relations and exchange views on issues of mutual interest with the objective of further strengthening the special relationship between the two countries".

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The two nations will also sign an agreement to establish a passenger and cargo services ferry between Maldives and India.

He is expected to meet the top leadership of the Maldives to strengthen the relationship at the highest level.

India's ties with the Maldives came under strain after President Yameen declared Emergency in the country on February 5, following an order by the country's Supreme Court to release a group of Opposition leaders, who had been convicted in widely criticised trials.

On Sunday, PM Narendra Modi will become the first foreign dignitary to visit Sri Lanka since the suicide attacks by Islamist terrorists on Easter Sunday in April, in which more than 250 persons were killed.

The Ministry also said that External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will visit Bhutan from June 7 to June 8.

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