India assured the Maldives that it will “seriously consider” its invitation to assist build a cricket stadium in the island nation as India and Maldives discussed cooperation in the field of sports. Indians are the second largest expatriate community in the Maldives with an approximate strength of around 22,000.
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India and the Maldives discussed the entire gamut of bilateral relations as External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj held talks with the country’s top leadership, including her Maldivian counterpart Abdulla Shahid.
Swaraj arrived here on Sunday on a two-day visit, the first full-fledged bilateral trip from India to the island nation after the government of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih came to power in November last year.
“While discussing cooperation in the field of youth and sports, the Maldivian side requested Indian assistance for the construction of a cricket stadium,” according to a joint statement released at the end of Swaraj’s visit.
“The Indian side agreed to positively consider the request,” it said. India and the Maldives on Sunday discussed measures to strengthen bilateral ties and collaborate in the fields of defence, development cooperation, capacity building and health care.
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President Solih visited India in December last year during which India announced a USD 1.4 billion financial assistance to the island nation.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the Maldives in November to attend Solih’s swearing-in ceremony who became president after defeating Abdulla Yameen, who was known to be close to China.
The Maldives national cricket team represents the country in international cricket. It made its Twenty20 International debut in January this year after the International Cricket Council decided to grant full Twenty20 International (T20I) status to all its members.
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